Coal upgrader receives Kentucky approval

WHITE Energy Company has been granted final approval to build a coal upgrading facility in Louisville, Kentucky, and could receive up to $US8.4 million in tax incentives from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority.
Coal upgrader receives Kentucky approval Coal upgrader receives Kentucky approval Coal upgrader receives Kentucky approval Coal upgrader receives Kentucky approval Coal upgrader receives Kentucky approval

White Energy's Binderless Coal Briquetting process.

Lou Caruana

The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District’s approval of White’s Jefferson Riverport project has cleared the way for the company to complete a feasibility study for the project and examine whether production should start in 2011, White Energy managing director John Atkinson said.

“This permit gives White Energy a clear and faster path to build our first US-based coal upgrading facility, and demonstrates to the US market the significant value of our technology in providing cleaner, more efficient and cost competitive energy.”

The proposed Jefferson Riverport project would be built with an initial capacity of 250,000 tonnes per annum, with the aim to expand capacity to 500,000tpa within the first two years of operation.

The project would be located at the Jefferson Riverport, a coal terminal on the Ohio River, leased to a private operator by the City of Louisville.

The location has a robust transportation infrastructure, with access to both barge and rail transportation.

Louisville is also favourably located from a demand perspective, with a number of coal fired power plants that require high energy, low sulfur, low ash coal located within a 50-mile radius of the proposed coal upgrading facility.

White Energy’s coal upgrading plant will also look to process Kentucky waste coal fines, potentially unlocking the residual energy value of an existing waste by-product.

The project would provide an early demonstration of the technology to US utilities, investors and strategic partners and provide an opportunity to perfect the Americanized version of the base plant design, Atkinson said.

These factors would enhance the opportunities for the previously announced projects with Peabody Energy and Buckskin Mining, and ensure greater certainty with respect to plant construction costs for the larger Wyoming plants.

This project would also help facilitate off-take and other commercial arrangements and significantly improve the financing options available for the Wyoming projects.

“The Jefferson Riverport Project is an opportunity to significantly accelerate our business in the US,” president of White Energy’s North American operations Judy Tanselle said.

“The potential for our unique coal upgrading technology to help build the bridge to cleaner, more efficient and highly cost-competitive coal solutions in the US through broad deployment in existing facilities is now very real.”