CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The governor says the state is on a roll.
For the third time in two weeks Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin made a major economic announcement. It happened Thursday at the state capitol when Texas-based Carbonyx unveiled plans to build a $250 million state-of-the-art plant in Jackson County.
“It’s fitting that a company finding bold new uses for coal is coming to West Virginia,” stressed Tomblin.Carbonyx plans to use West Virginia coal to produce a key ingredient for steel making at a facility located near Millwood. The process, according to the company, is more environmentally friendly than the old way of making steel. Instead of relying on coke, a high carbon, hot-burning fuel source, Carbonyx has developed a coke substitute called Cokonyx, a carbon alloy.
“This creates a new market for our coal from West Virginia and will also help put miners back to work in producing the coal that will be used and value added here in the state of West Virginia,” said Tomblin.
Once the first phase of the project is complete, Tomblin said the company will be hiring West Virginia workers.
“Sixty West Virginians will not only have the opportunity to work for a world-class innovator, they will be able to put food on the table without having to look for work someplace else,” said Tomblin.
Carbonyx CEO Dr. Sid Gaur said choosing West Virginia to locate the new plant wasn’t a difficult decision. From the governor, to the state Development Office, to local leaders in Jackson County, Gaur explained everyone made them feel right at home.
“From day one when I stepped into the state each and every one put every step forward in the best possible way and walked an extra mile to get this project to where it is today,” said the CEO.
The West Virginia Economic Development Authority approved a 10-year $15 million loan for the company Thursday morning just a few hours before the announcement.
State Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette stressed the state has made major changes in the past few years, from reforming workers comp., to keeping unemployment stable and offering one of the lowest costs to do business, in the county. He believes West Virginia was the obvious choice.
“We’re going to show the world how it’s done. We are going to show them that you can use coal in an environmentally friendly way and change the economy of this country,” said Burdette.
On November 12, Gov. Tomblin announced the addition of 250 jobs at Sogefi in Wayne County. Two days later he was in Parkersburg for the announcement that a Brazilian company, Odebrecht, is in the initial stages of developing an ethane cracker and two polyethylene plants along the Ohio River.
Construction on the Carbonyx project will begin sometime next year. If you’re interested in applying for a job, log on to the company website at www.carbonyx.com.