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.

Jennifer Smith/MetroNews

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin looks on as Carbonyx CEO Dr. Sid Gaur explains plans for the Jackson County plant.

“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

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  • Rachael

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  • Daniel

    A true "Gold & Blue Mountaineer" reporter would cover every angle of the story! What are the repercussions to our beloved state as a result of this new petrochemical plant? Why did they really pick WV and why only the meager addition of less than 100 jobs? Why are you not reporting on why more environmentally safe (?) industries are not moving here? Why not report on what the real deal is in Charleston? This good news is for only a very few West Virginians with the potential that can harm thousands downstream! Let me guess, you vote Democrat? I'll make another assumption... you also believe O'bama is the greatest thing since sliced-bread, right? Do our great state a favor and report things that "really" make a difference in WV. Ok?

    • Dude

      I don't know about Obama's politics with WV - if I remember correctly the state actually voted against him (twice).

      That said, WV has a high unemployment rate and a lot of people willing to take jobs that pay little in comparison to what would be acceptable in other states. If you google average household income by state, you'll see that VA's average household income is almost DOUBLE that of WV.

  • Dude

    Speaking as someone from WV but no longer there (but I still have family in the state that I visit), the state is as backwards as can be. Anyone that's lived in WV their entire life needs to move to another part of the country for a while and see what the rest of the nation is like. WV is one of the poorest and saddest states in the country. 250 jobs? Give me a break, that's nothing. They need to bring in business that generate thousands of jobs if not tens of thousands.

    The EPA has put the final nail in the coffin for coal but don't kid yourself, the industry was already on it's last legs. Fracking has driving the price of natural gas to such a low level that coal will never be able to compete unless someone is able to find a way to extract coal even cheaper than it's currently done with mountaintop removal (which I'm sure most people realize is a horrible way to do it).

    The truth of the matter is that WV has always had the natural resource curse.

    Do you want to know how to turn the state around? It's really not that difficult, focus on an industry that's less blue collar. Banking, credit cards, or some other financial institution. Look at South Dakota, they're in the middle of nowhere (even compared to WV) yet they have THOUSANDS (not a couple hundred) of jobs in the credit card industry and loads of money pumped into the state. They did that by changing tax laws to lure the industry to the state. They didn't have to beg or bribe them to show up, they simply changed the law and the banks ran to the state.

    • Daniel

      Change will always be difficult for WV. The citizens want and have come to expect things to be changed for them, instead of standing up for themselves and demanding change! WV will soon be like Saudi Arabia without oil. No one in our political arena decided that diversifying our economy would be a good thing, no one put their foot down to allowing outsiders to rape and pillage us for our natural resources and now no one really gives two-hoots-in-hades what happens as long as the democrats keep doling out assistance! Good luck with your ignorance and lack of foresight WV. You will continue to bare the brunt of your own ignorance and the rest of the country will continue to mock you for who you really are: backwards in your train of thought, reliant on government and lack of hindsight to guide you forward!

      • Dude

        I re-read my original post. A correction to it - South Dakota lured the credit card companies in by changing laws related to interest rates that could be charged in the state.and not tax law changes as I originally stated.

        WV is in a bad place right now it can make a recovery if someone is actually willing to open their mind to other possibilities.

        To address your comment about folks in other states mocking WV, it's true that people make jokes about the state (and it's inhabitants) but I wouldn't take it personally and it's only a small subset of the states that have people that do this. If you go out west to Texas, the people there don't know a thing about the state. Further west to California and in my experience (this is not a joke or exaggeration), a lot of people out there don't even know that WV is a state. They literally think you're referring to western VA. That's how off the map in terms of national relevance the state is.

        One last thing, I looked up more information on this on the web and found an article from the Houston Chronicle and they're saying that this is "going to create at least 60 jobs".

  • What happened to WV?

    If we could get rid of the crazy B&O tax. We would attract so many more businesses to the state of WV. There is so little profit margin on businesses these days.

    • Larry

      WV is a nice place to live, but I don't think it will ever be a hotbed of business and industry, just no useable land.

      • Larry

        Plus too many years of oppressive democrat party control.

  • Free Markets

    Not so fast everyone....Obama is going to shut this down faster than you can say Coal.Get real.

    Great idea, and good job Governor Tomblin for trying to being some economic spirit back to Jackson county, but this is likely dead in the water thanks to job killing, WV hating Barack Obama.

    • Earl Ray

      Hey, you take that back. This thing is a lock, a game changer for Millwood WV.

  • Gilbert Gnarley

    It's hard to be against jobs so just a few questions.

    Should the state loan money to any out-of-state business? Doesn't the company offer sufficient viability or potential to attract investors' capital without needed state funds? Were there not investors to be found in Texas (surely if Baylor University can find $$$$ for a new football stadium with the same price tag investors for this venture should have been lining up)? How much of the $250 million price tag represents West Virginia-made products and services? Will the state recoup sufficient dollars through taxes and loan interest to justify the (gulp) sixty jobs? Here today, gone tomorrow? Has the game changed again?

    Don't mean to ruffle any feathers. Just asking a few questions. The world anxiously awaiting "to see how it's done."

    Agree or not, Rhytonen does bring up some good talking points.

    • Gilbert Gnarley

      My comment should read "The world is anxiously..". Sorry for the error.

  • JTC

    Blame this on Obama! Oh wait this is good news. Never mind. Is the War on Coal now just a Battle on Coal?

    • Gilbert Gnarley

      Good one, JTC.

  • RHytonen

    For he poison, misery, suffering and death this will cause; it is a BAD DEAL -
    as any and every pursuit of fossil fuels have undeniably proven over 150 years in West Virginia.

    The "Choice" in employment, falsely claimed as "between (say,) Black Lung and nothing," ignores the fact we could just as well
    (by EXCLUDING the extractionists)
    have chosen to develop ANY other industry or pursuit.

    But exploitive extractionists bribed and convinced WV to choose what has UNDENIABLY resulted in:
    -the state RICHEST in resources,
    -having yet the POOREST population,
    -that has yet made OUTSIDERS the RICHEST!
    Wise up, and Rise up, West Virginia!
    Time for another Blair Mountain, before it's too late. KICK THE EXTRACTIONISTS
    -and their corrupt politicians and judges-
    Stop being the corporate sacrifice zone.

    What will we have, when they've finally paved, covered with cancer ponds (go smell one!), and abandoned 100% of WV and sold ALL the resources overseas?

    • MoMoney

      Duuuuuude. What on earth are you smoking? Is it of this world? You must be one of those MTR radical enviro-nazis. You are a fine example of the lunatic left.
      It is past time to blast Blair Mountain down to a flat piece of usable land, after we take the coal out.

      • Nick Joe Manchin Rahall

        Got that one right, blast Blair Mountain back into the stone age. God, I've wanted to see that happen FOREVER! So much of southern WV is totally, absolutely worthless land, and we're supposed to want to preserve that? Mountaintop removal has always been a godsend in making some usable land out of those awful mountains that NOBODY could ever use and even set foot on.

  • Dale

    Way to go Governor!!

    • Earl Ray

      Thanks again, and remember all of this is only happening because of me, if anyone else was governor, forget it, state goes under.


        this reply is awesome. thanks for the laugh of the day.

        • Earl Ray

          You're welcome, I'm glad I could save the state.