Lawmakers to hear about coal conversion plant planned for Muhlenberg County

Representatives from Peabody Energy Corp. and ConocoPhillips will present plans for the Kentucky NewGas Energy Center to a House committee on Wednesday. 

The two companies announced in December their plans to build the multi-billion dollar plant in Muhlenberg County on the 80-acre property that had been set aside for the Thoroughbred Energy Campus, a coal-fired power plant tied up in legal challenges for years and then dropped in favor for the Kentucky NewGas project. 

The Kentucky NewGas plant would convert coal to synthetic natural gas and is expected to create 1,200 jobs during construction and 500 long-term jobs at the site near Central City. That tally includes jobs in the coal industry needed to help supply the plant. 

The project will be eligible for up to $250 million in state incentives thanks to House Bill 1 passed by the General Assembly during a special session in 2007. 

Brian Brau, Peabody Energy director of project development in Btu conversion, and Sarah Edman, manager of gasification project development for ConocoPhilips, will be talking about the project at the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee chaired by Rep. Jim Gooch, a Providence Democrat, at 9 a.m. EST and then again at the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committe chaired by Sen. Tom Jensen, a London Republican, at 11 a.m. EST.

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