By November 17, 2017 Read More →

Financing for planned Greenbrie r synthetic fuel plant moves forward

By MAX GARLAND

Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A company planning to build a $73 million synthetic fuel plant in Greenbrier County took another step forward in financing its development Thursday, as the West Virginia Economic Development Authority approved two items to help advance the plant’s construction.

The items approved by the WVEDA at its monthly board of directors meeting — a reimbursement resolution and a cap allocation application — authorize the issuance of roughly $29.6 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds to PPD of WV One and allow the company to repay expenses made during its planning phase once the bonds are issued.

PPD of WV One, a newly formed company, says it will convert materials like wood waste into diesel fuel and biochar, which is used in the agriculture sector, at the plant.

The company is aiming for plant construction to commence in early 2018 at its site near the Sam Black Church exit on Interstate 64 in Greenbrier County, according to company spokesman Chris Hall. The company estimates 60 employees will be needed to operate the plant once construction is completed.

“PPD of WV is pleased with the progress of the project to date and hopes to maintain a timeline for construction close to those previously announced,” Hall said in an emailed statement regarding the WVEDA actions.

The WVEDA approved two similar items during its September meeting, and the company now is approved for up to $80 million in revenue bonds.

Hall said PPD of WV One didn’t attempt to receive approval for all $80 million in bonds in one action because WVEDA statutory limitations prevented that bond amount from being authorized in one go.

Also at the meeting, the board approved a resolution to issue up to $65 million in revenue bonds for a Pleasants County chemical plant expansion.

According to the bond resolution, Cytec Industries aims to install a second production line at its Willow Island plant. Its parent company, Solvay, said in a September news release that it anticipates the expansion will double the plant’s production capacity of products used to extend the life of plastics in outdoor conditions.

Cytec expects the expansion will create at least 33 full-time jobs at the plant, the resolution says. The new production line is slated to be operational by mid-2019, according to the release.

John Mairs, a Jackson Kelly attorney serving as bond counsel for Cytec, said the expansion project is in its beginning phases.

“We’ve been having discussions with the [state] Development Office, Pleasants County and Pleasants County officials, and this bond resolution is a parcel of those discussions,” he said at the meeting.

The Willow Island plant, in operation since 1946, is one of Solvay’s largest manufacturing facilities, according to the company’s website.

The WVEDA will acquire the project assets as they are installed and lease those assets back to Cytec, the resolution says.

In other news, the board of directors:

Gave preliminary approval for a $6.6 million loan on a 15-year term to The Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley. The Ohio-based health care organization will use the loan to purchase an office building and equipment in Wheeling.

Gave preliminary approval for a $1.8 million loan on a 20-year term to Merco Marine. The Wellsburg-based manufacturer of boat dock products will use the loan to purchase land, buildings and equipment.

Reach Max Garland at max.garland@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-4886 or follow @MaxGarlandTypes on Twitter.

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