Wyoming officials: DKRW coal-to-gas project out of compliance

2013-03-20T19:22:00Z 2013-03-21T00:13:13Z Wyoming officials: DKRW coal-to-gas project out of complianceBy ADAM VOGE Casper Star-Tribune The Billings Gazette
March 20, 2013 7:22 pm  • 

CASPER, Wyo. — The developer of a planned coal-to-gasoline conversion plant in Wyoming withdrew documents filed with the state's industrial projects regulator Wednesday. That means the project is out of compliance, a state official says.

In a letter sent to the state Industrial Siting Division on Wednesday, DKRW Advanced Fuels' K. Wade Cline asked that an on-file construction schedule and socioeconomic analysis for the company's planned conversion plant near Medicine Bow be withdrawn. Both documents were required under previous agreements with the state.

Division Administrator Luke Esch said the project is now considered "out of compliance," although the company will be given a chance to correct that status.

Esch couldn't say Wednesday how much time the company would be given to resubmit the proposed build schedule and economic analysis, but said the division would respond to the company's letter and set a compliance deadline within a couple of days.

"If the facility returns to compliance with the terms of the permit and comes back into compliance with the division, then as always there's nothing that would hinder this project from being constructed as proposed," Esch said.

The company had been on the Industrial Siting Council's schedule for April 1 to discuss a proposed build schedule update, among other things.

"We have received no notice of non-compliance and do not believe that we are out of compliance," Liz Brimmer, a consultant for DKRW, said in an emailed statement. "However, if we receive such a notice, we will work with ISD to address any concerns they have. As we said yesterday, DKRW appreciates the patience displayed in this process of mobilizing such an important project for Wyoming and the nation for value-added, conversion technology."

An attorney for the company told the division last week that it would be premature to discuss the update because DKRW's Chinese contractor had informed the company it wasn't sure when it could start construction.

If the $1-billion-plus plant is built, it would provide about 400 full-time jobs and produce approximately 20,000 to 25,000 barrels of gasoline per day, the company claimed.

Financing issues have long delayed the project, at one point slated to be built by 2008. The company has performed minor construction — including the laying of concrete slabs — on-site to maintain conditions of its ISC permit.

An attempt to reach representatives for Houston-based DKRW on Wednesday was unsuccessful, but Cline indicated in his letter the company would submit new plans.

"It is our understanding (DKRW) will be required to submit a revised socioeconomic update based on a new schedule for the project, once it is developed," he wrote.

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