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Front Page » April 15, 2008 » Local News » Gov. Huntsman tours clean coke operation
Published 3,234 days ago

Gov. Huntsman tours clean coke operation

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Tim Gwyther explains the clean coke operation to Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. during his tour of the WETC facility.

The Western Energy Training Center showed Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. around the clean coke processing facility during his recent visit. The goal of this project is to upgrade waste coals and make a cleaner burning fuel. Within the State Office of economic development is the Centers of Excellence. The Center of Excellence focuses on a technolgy and process for making tailored quality coke from alternative raw carbon based feedstocks, including by-product and various waste carbonaceous materials. The basic patent process blends and presses these carbon-containing materials into briquettes of specified size, with the ability to meet end user product specifications based on feedstock inputs and process control. This product is referred to as clean coke because pollutant emission levels are carefully controlled to low levels with little or no vagrant emissions allowed during processing, thus being a green fuel source. Coke as a basic large scale industrial feedstock is used all over the world in a wide variety of applications and situations in hundreds of millions of tons per year.

Tim Gwyther, at WETC is in charge of the coke processing test facility that is being put into operation in one of the large buildings on site. Gwyther took Gov. Huntsman along on a tour and explained the coke processing to him in detail as well as showing the equipment that is in place to date.

WETC is enthusiastic about the opportunities that will come to southeastern Utah because of the coke processing facility. Below is a summarization of expected benefits:

Utah Benefits

Over 200 high paying jobs will be created near Price over the next two years.

Mine personnel can be re-trained to operate, control, manufacture and maintain new clean coke facilities.

Industry and academia are working together through the centers of excellence program to roll out this revolutionary technology and business model.

The clean coking process converts waste coal feedstocks, previously known as environmental waste piles created while mining, to create low emission "green" clean coke products.

Gov. Huntsman tours the coke plant.

Utah clean coke technology will reduce foreign control of fuel supplies. The US currently produces only 10 percent of the current world demand for coke fuel products.

The WETC will provide a world class training environment to train skilled workers on an actual production line. Training curriculum will include operators, maintenance, financial, engineers and managers.

The pilot facility training program will be self supporting from sale of clean coke being produced at the pilot facility, once operational in July.

The pilot facility located at WETC will provide valuable research and development and workforce training for full scale facilities. Business practices, control logic, training curriculum, simulators, operational and maintenance procedures will be sold with full scale facilities.

Future needs

Approval of COE proposal for second year funding from Utah Centers of Excellence program to finish pilot facility startup.

Government economic support to construct the first full scale facility in Price, through incentive programs designed to stimulate job growth in rural Utah and cleanup of waste coal piles at existing mine sites.

WETC wants to make it know there are many benefits associated with clean coke as it helps to clean up waste coal piles and provides a clean green fuel alternative to coal combustion.

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