CHARLESTON, WV (WBOY) — Gov. Jim Justice hosted a virtual announcement Monday, November 23, 2020 to detail plans for a Welsh company to expand its clean coal operations to the Mountain State.
DST Innovations and Blue Rock Manufacturing are planning to locate facilities in the Morgantown area and in the state’s Southern Coalfields. The Governor said this could lead to 1,000 jobs.
The companies use their technology to reduce coal to hard carbon, which is then used in batteries and supercapacitors for sustainable energy storage, officials described.
A production facility, which will make electronic components, will be located in the Morgantown area, while a reactor, that reduces the coal to hard carbon, will be located somewhere near a coal source in southern West Virginia. Gov. Justice described the reduction as going from a ton of coal, to an amount that fits in a shoebox.
Gov. Justice said the announcement is the product of three years of work and he first mentioned it publicly during his 2020 State of the State Address. Movement on the project was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You’ll find the people of West Virginia are a loving people, they’re craftsman, they’re really really great at what they do. They’re innovative. They’re good solid thinkers, but the very thing they are, more than anything, is they’re appreciative people,” Justice told the company officials.
DST already works with other industries in West Virginia, with officials describing them as “superb.”
Much like West Virginia, Wales has a proud coal history.
“We absolutely are the diamond in the rough that people are now finding,” Gov. Justice said.