CHARLESTON -- Gov. Joe Manchin on Wednesday announced that leading industry consultants will develop a plan and conceptual design for a coal-to-liquids manufacturing facility in West Virginia.

The industry-funded plan will support the governor's Coal Conversion Initiative, a public/private partnership to make West Virginia a leader in alternative uses for coal.

"Coal is a versatile fuel source that can be converted to a number of different uses, including diesel fuel, chemicals and other products," Manchin said. "This plan will focus on the technical elements and basis for moving forward with a coal conversion facility in West Virginia.

"Through the West Virginia Coal Conversion Initiative, we will contribute to American energy security and independence and to West Virginia's economy. This plan will provide a foundation for the private sector to advance development of West Virginia's first coal-to-liquids manufacturing facility."

The plan is sponsored by American Electric Power subsidiary Appalachian Power Co., as well as by Energy Village, a non-profit organization that promotes energy-focused economic development. The plan will be developed by American Electric Power Service Corporation, with key inputs provided by Worley Parsons, GE Energy and CONSOL Energy. Worley Parsons is a global engineering and consulting firm. GE Energy, a division of the General Electric Company, is a provider of coal gasification and related coal conversion and power generation technologies. CONSOL Energy is the largest U.S. producer of coal from underground mines.

"I would like to thank Appalachian Power and Energy Village for their commitment to this important opportunity for our state," Manchin said. "Their funding of this plan will help to contribute to West Virginia's energy leadership and to our state's growth. I believe this example of private-sector leadership validates our approach in pursuing a public/private coal conversion partnership."

"We can continue to grow our economy through new opportunities, such as a coal conversion. We also can continue to provide leadership to the nation in innovative uses of coal. As a state rich in natural resources, West Virginia is committed to taking responsibility for America's energy future and doing our part to address the nation's growing energy concerns."

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