Local leaders look to use coal in different way

Local News

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The Raleigh County Commission, New River Gorge Regional Development Authority and other local leaders met Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.

The meeting was to discuss a cleaner solution for the coal industry. A company called Englo and Professors from George Washington University and Mississippi State brought some ideas to the table. Englo wants to bring a factory to southern West Virginia that turns coal into fertilizer, and other by-products.

Ron Hedrick, a Raleigh County Commissioner, and Jina Belcher, the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority Executive Director, were both at the meeting.

“We’re still probably years away from manufacturing a product that will be on the market for sale. But with any new industry, you have to start somewhere. And we are excited that Raleigh County might be the new place for this industry to start,” Hedrick said.

“Normally, we hear this narrative that we want to diversify away from the coal industry, but this provides us an opportunity to actually utilize coal and coal byproducts, in these new forms to make other products,” Belcher said.

It is predicted the factory would bring about 100 jobs to the local counties. Right now, they are in the process of raising money.

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