EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSPlant Announcement Gives Ravenswood Hope For Needed Economic Boost
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Also Contributing: Bob Aaron, Elizabeth Noreika
Reported: Nov. 21, 2013 5:35 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 21, 2013 10:30 PM EST
Ravenswood , Jackson County , West Virginia
Texas-based company Carbonyx is building a coal processing plant in Jackson county.
That new facility will add more than 60 jobs to the region.
“It's especially exciting when a visionary company invests in jobs and opens a new market for coal,” West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said.
The company's CEO said that number could reach more than 200 over the next seven years.
"What a wonderful new home you have given our facility," Siddhartha Gaur said.
This news is uplifting to many in the area, due to the economic hardship in recent years.
This plant is giving the people of Ravenswood hope for the future. Over the past few years, they have been hit hard with job losses, and are they're hopeful this is the first sign of the town’s economy turning around.
The town's economy still has some heavy lifting to do to recover from the closing of Century Aluminum, but the news Texas-based Carbonyx plans to create jobs in Jackson County is a pleasant change for the Ohio River community. The plant site is just outside Ravenswood.
If the new plant signals an economic turnaround, it is too late for some.
Wages for plant and construction workers and supplies for the plant itself are expected to boost city and county economies.
The company was awarded a $15 million equipment loan by the West Virginia Economic Development Authority as an incentive to build in Jackson County.
Carbonyx, founded in 200, makes an advanced carbon-based chemical product called cokonyx.
It's a carbon alloy material that replaces traditional coke in the steel manufacturing process.
The company said it is more environmentally friendly. The company blends coal with other carbon-based substances in a controlled environment and it produces fewer emissions than other methods.
"This is a significant recruitment for the state of West Virginia,because we're going to show the world that we can use coal in an environmentally friendly way," West Virginia Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette said.
Leaders say that is huge, because the plant will open up a new market for the use of coal in West Virginia, creating even more jobs in the Mountain State.
This process was developed on a smaller scale at their plant in Texas and has grown.
The company has since partnered with U.S. Steel and uses this unique process at two plants in Indiana and another in Oklahoma.
Construction on the plant is expected to begin next year and take about two years. The company plans to invest tens of millions of dollars.
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