Lexington Herald-Leader. Pike County, Kentucky, officials have selected a site for a proposed $4-billion coal-to-liquids plant. Pike County, situated in Kentucky’s eastern coalfields, is the six-largest county producer of coal in the US, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). In 2006, Pike County produced 25.773 million tons of coal, 2.2% of the US total.
After a yearlong, $850,000 study by Pikeville-based Summit Engineering, paid for by the Kentucky Department of Energy and the Appalachian Regional Commission, [Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford] said the county plans to develop a facility that would produce 50,000 barrels of liquid coal a day.
Projected production cost is about $61/barrel.
Rutherford said the county would use federal and state grant money to put the basic infrastructure in place, including water and sewer, and the company chosen to operate the facility would pay for the rest.
Funding is not yet secured, although the project is being supported by the Governor and state representatives. There is no construction timeline, although once begun, the plant will take five to six years to complete. The county has received several proposals from interested companies, but has not yet reviewed them.
Other Kentucky coal-producing counties—Whitley and McCracken—are considering similar projects.