Kentucky fueled plan

PRIVATE New Jersey company US Fuel is kicking off what may lead to a larger endeavor with newly announced plans to construct a coal-to-fuel plant in western Kentucky.
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US Fuel president Harry Bagot

Donna Schmidt

Officials said late Wednesday its first facility, planned for Capital City in Muhlenberg County, will convert coal to “non-petroleum based alternative fuels” such as aviation and diesel fuel.

Its daily capacity will be 148 tons, which will in turn produce about 8500 gallons of high grade and low sulfur.

US Fuel said that, as the initial pant is completed, it wants to replicate the process for additional larger-scaled commercial facilities, though it declined to estimate a number.

The company co-developed the technology with the executive team of Paul Adams and finance consultant Steve Luck, who have both joined the company’s executive management and will oversee the development of the plant.

The acquisition will be underwritten by equity lender Global Private Funding’s Business Incubation Program.

“The plan is a road map to a profitable and environmentally friendly way to convert coal into low sulfur, high-purity diesel,” Adams said.

“US Fuel is the perfect vehicle for implementing the plan we developed.”

While the company did not indicate when the facility’s construction could begin or when it could come online, it said its plans are a “fresh and practical approach” to using a proven technology to produce valuable commodities.

“Other coal-to-diesel projects failed in large part because they were of a scale where the financial and environmental risks were unacceptable,” officials said.

“By using a proprietary combination of scalable proven processes technologies, US Fuel not only mitigates project investment risk but also positions the company to rapidly replicate its model by building additional facilities where the coal feedstock is already located.”

When in operation, the facility and those to follow it will comply with federal, state and local emissions standards and produce a near-zero discharge of both carbon dioxide and wastewater.

State representative Brent Yonts told local newspaper the Hazard Herald that coal-rich Muhlenberg County was an excellent choice because of its local coal supply as well as the area’s interest in clean coal alternatives.

“This plant will utilize clean coal technology to provide jobs and hope to our local coal miners and give direction to the rest of the country about other ways coal can be used to provide energy to our nation,” he said.

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