Development of a Clean Coal Technologies Inc. research plant and commercial production facility in the Powder River Basin will begin in the New Year at the former Two Elk property southeast of Wright.
Robin Eves, Clean Coal’s CEO, announced during a teleconference Thursday morning that the company’s test facility at the AES Shady Point coal-fired power plant near Tulsa, Oklahoma, has completed its testing there and is being “mothballed” for a move to Wyoming. It should arrive about the end of January.
He added that a commercial facility capable of processing 30 tons of coal an hour also will be located near Gillette, which the News Record later confirmed with the company to be the former Two Elk site.
He said the company has been working with Wyoming New Power and Piper Jaffray to build the commercial plant, along with some fast-moving negotiations with potential customers in India, Indonesia and Australia.
“The (test) plant has been upgraded to operate at a much higher level than before,” he said, adding that the byproducts of refining coal “have huge value, and our technology has the capability of acting as a coal refinery, which has significant value around the world.”
Clean Coal’s process reduces the moisture in coal in a way that leaves the mineral stable and safe to handle. Along with producing more energy than untreated coal, the refined product also produces fewer harmful emissions when burned, including carbon dioxide.
Also providing significant value to Clean Coal Technologies is a recently announced partnership with the University of Wyoming, Eves said.
That agreement, announced in October, will see the university “help perfect the design and engineering of the first commercial module,” he said. “But more importantly, to start developing the second and third generations of the technology.”
The partnership also has given “huge validity to our technology” around the world, Eves said, and has led to other partnerships with universities in Australia.
The timeline for Clean Coal’s move to the Powder River Basin has already begun, Eves said. The test plant in Oklahoma will move and set up while the company applies for permits from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. That should be done over the next 60 days, he said, adding that the goal is to have the test plant up and running by the end of the first quarter 2018.
For the commercial plant, the timeline has its permitting to be done in six months and has it built and operational by the end of 2019, Eves said.
Along with cutting back the harmful aspects of burning coal domestically, that the global market continues to grow is a sign Clean Coal’s technology is needed, Eves said.
“It’s critical to sustain and develop coal reserves around the world,” he said. “Now the coal industry has accepted there’s a technology that can (treat) and upgrade coal.”