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By Samuel R. Avro on Dec 16, 2008 with no responses

ConocoPhillips and Peabody Energy File Permit for Coal-To-Gas Plant

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Houston-based ConocoPhilips and Peabody Energy announced that they filed for a permit that would enable them to run a state-of-the-art coal-to-natural-gas facility in Kentucky.

The proposed facility would be capable of providing power to nearly three quarters of a million homes.

The facility, to be known as Kentucky NewGas, is expected to produce enough energy to provide for nearly three quarters of a million Midwest homes. If approved, the project could also re-energize the regional economy by creating 1,200 skilled jobs during a four-year construction process, 500 long-term jobs and nearly $100 million in regional economic benefits each year, the companies said in a press release.

“Greater use of Kentucky coal in clean energy projects is the ultimate solution for re-energizing our regional economy, creating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in direct economic benefits over the long term,” said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. “Projects like this demonstrate Kentucky’s global leadership in advancing clean energy projects, and they enjoy rock solid support: More than 80 percent of Kentucky residents support coal gasification, which mirrors strong national support for coal.”

The technologies that would transform the coal into clean burning natural-gas will also reduce the emissions to just 5 percent of a traditional coal power plant.

“Building energy security and fueling economic growth are top priorities for America,” said Peabody’s Senior Vice President of Btu Conversion and Strategic Planning Rick A. Bowen. “We’re creating a new model to deliver stable energy supplies, provide economic benefits and incorporate environmental solutions at a time when families and businesses are increasingly looking to clean coal to advance all of these goals.”

Greg Goff, senior vice president, commercial, ConocoPhillips, added: “This project offers an excellent opportunity for ConocoPhillips and Peabody to use their combined capabilities to increase clean energy supplies. Together, we can successfully develop this complex project in an environmentally responsible and economically sound manner.”

Duke Energy is also in the midst of building a $2.35 billion coal-to-natural-gas plant in Indiana which would power up to 200,000 homes.