GILBERT, W.Va. — Plans for a multi-billion dollar coal to liquid plant in Mingo County are still alive, according to state’s Division of Energy director.

Jeff Herholdt recently told state lawmakers TransGas Development Systems has hired a contractor for the project, ACS of Madrid, Spain.

“This is one of the largest construction companies in the world,” Herholdt said. “They have just inked a deal with TransGas. They would be responsible for building the plant.”

The design for the $4 billion project, located near Gilbert, is complete and site preparations have been underway for several months.

Financing remains an issue, however. After Herholdt told lawmakers he didn’t have anything new on the financing options, Logan County Senator Art Kirkendoll said the state needs to be more aggressive in helping projects like TransGas.

“We’re sitting on our thumbs waiting for an investor to come with $2 million. Why don’t we go get those investors?” Kirkendoll asked.

Herholdt said the recent increase in oil prices further legitimizes the project.

“The whole thing that drove this is they needed $60 (a barrel) oil,” he said. “Oil is $102 now. The incentives are there.”

It’s expected to take about three-and-a-half years to build the TransGas plant.


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  • lamplighter

    why are we importing workers from Spain?

    I HEARD we have thousands of unemployed people!! Why aren't West Virginians getting these jobs???

  • R C K

    The U.S. DOE has spent over 3.6 billion dollars on this from 1976 through 2000 and we have no usable fuel. Follow the DOE money and a politician is involved.

  • ConservativeRealist

    Gotta love the photograph and appreciate the irony...all those prominent politicos standing around, leaning on shovels...not working or digging...with cheap hard hats on...and the hat Truman Chafin has on?-?-?...yep, that inspires fiscal confidence...

  • Joe

    Sorry guys, I am not understanding anything you say....I don't speak Spanish.

    • CaptainQ

      Excellent point, Joe!

      IF this plant DOES ever get built (not likely under our current President), it'll no doubt be built with teams of undocumented workers (that's the PC term for 'illegal aliens'). You can bet no LOCAL people who actually NEED jobs will be considered for hiring.

  • cutty77

    Buck Harless has 2 mill laying around.

  • CaptainQ

    Question: "Is coal to liquid plant still a possibility?"

    Answer: "NO! Not as long as Obama's in the White House!"

    It's time to realize that Obama and the ultra-environmental wing of the Democratic Party are NOT friends of West Virginia coal. He doesn't want coal to produce electricity here in America and he also doesn't want WV selling it's coal abroad either. Something like this that would actually benefit WV coal, Obama would be 100% against it, period.

    • Uncle Unctuous

      We don't know for certain what Obama's stance would be. We can certainly speculate, as Obama fetishists are wont to do. However, we do know the stance of the holy of holies (the private sector) considering that sufficient private capital to get this boondoggle underway evidently cannot be found.


    Educate yourselves. The technology is coal liquefaction. It's not new. It's how the Germans made fuel to extend WWII. The scam is not the technology but why a democratic administration(national and state) isn't pouring money into a proven, economical technology instead of the smoke and mirrors of wind and solar. Seriously, check out the technology then realize that West Virginians could be paying 2 dollars a gallon for gasoline while enriching our state by using WV coal.

    • C. F. T.

      Yes the Germans used this technology during WW II, that is a well documented fact. The apparent scam is promoting an $4 billion project via. WV southern pollitions.

    • Uncle Unctuous

      Why do you want to throw taxpayer money at something the private sector evidently doesn't want to invest in?

  • Larry

    What about the "cracker" that was going to be built up towards Montgomery?

  • Interesting

    I could be wrong but while listening into the committee meeting on the Legislatures website I thought he said Billion not million.

  • Fubar

    Something doesn't add up when a mult-billion dollar project needs a 2 million dollar investor. Sounds like the usual smoke and mirrors BS from another governor.

  • Jim N Charleston

    What BS politicians will spew! NEVER happen

  • C. F. T.

    What a crock of gas?. An alleged $4 billion project stalled because an $2 million investor needs to be found. If my math is correct the $2 million is a whopping 1/80 of 1% of the scam.