Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor's Office of Energy Policy Releases List of Potential Sites for Energy Facilities

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 05, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Part of mission to implement Governor Fletcher’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Governor’s Office of Energy Policy (GOEP) today released a list of potential sites for projects to convert coal to liquid or gaseous fuels.

The “site bank” is intended to attract potential project developers and educate local and state officials about Kentucky sites capable of accommodating coal conversion facilities. GOEP initiated the site bank process in August 2006.

The sites included are: Purchase Regional Industrial Park (Graves County); Lewisport – Hancock County River Front; American Electric Power property west of Henderson; Brier Creek, Breman (Muhlenberg County); Paradise Mine, Central City (Muhlenberg County); River View Coal (Union County); Hopkins County Coal (Webster County); Hopkins County Coal (Hopkins County); Steamport (Webster County); Skillman Bottom (Hancock County); D.B. Wilson Power Station (Ohio County); property adjacent to Reid-Green Power Station (Webster County); Chisholm Mine, Phelps (Pike County); Premier Elkhorn, Myra (Pike County); Clay County Industrial Park; Perry County Coal, Hazard; J.K. Smith Power Station (Clark County); South Shore (Greenup County); CH Development Corbin (Knox/Whitley County).

This list does not include additional sites which might also be in consideration by potential companies.

“Kentucky is in intense competition with other states to attract these multi-billion dollar projects that will convert Kentucky’s resources into high-value liquid and gaseous fuels,” Governor Fletcher said.

“The site bank, along with enactment this year of Senate Bill 196, which authorizes the state to facilitate the permitting of industrial energy facilities, and our ongoing support of research initiatives, demonstrate that Kentucky is eager to work with project developers.  We continue to work for legislation to enable Kentucky to offer financial incentives competitive with those offered by other states,” the Governor said.

Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary John Hindman said Kentucky is competing with several surrounding states, noting that the state does not currently have financial incentives available to attract these industries.

“The site bank process, in which GOEP was able to evaluate key elements necessary to support large-scale energy facilities and then identify several areas of the state that have these characteristics, is one thing Kentucky can do to help project developers and local officials,” Sec. Hindman said.

A number of potential properties across Kentucky have the necessary infrastructure and geologic characteristics to attract project developers. Features considered included sufficient acreage (500 hundred or more acres), adequate water supply, strong transportation and electric transmission infrastructure, and available work force. In addition, sites which do not appear ideal at this time may become better suited as technologies develop and knowledge is gained in the construction and operation of these facilities.

Coal conversion technology is available and in use today. South Africa and China are world leaders in production of transportation fuels from coal.  Pipeline quality synthetic natural gas has been produced economically at the Great Plains Gasification Plant in North Dakota.  Interest in the United States is growing rapidly because of escalating gasoline prices, combined with unease over the nation’s increasing dependence on imported oil.

“In a large coal-producing state like Kentucky, it is important that we maintain markets for coal, especially with unpredictable future regulations,” said Rodney Andrews, acting director of the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research. “Supporting facilities that can produce clean diesel or synthetic natural gas using our indigenous resources ensures that the market remains viable. At the same time, this can help reduce national dependence on imported oil.

“Our lab has conducted research on liquid fuels from coal for 30 years. The research has been successful and we know how to do it, it is even being carried out in some places. Now we need to start producing these fuels commercially here,” Andrews said.