PDT Staff Writer
Portsmouth developer Jeff Albrecht believes one of the players in the New Steel’s attempt to build a steel processing facility in Franklin Furnace just may be the Coal Producers of West Virginia.
Albrecht met with them recently and said he believes the Coal Producers could become major investors in the plant because it is the kind of plant that could reciprocate by using their product.
“Many coal operators in West Virginia have coal that is not good coal to meet the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requirements,” Albrecht said. “Many power plants that use coal to generate electricity are shutting down because of these EPA standards, but New Steel can make iron and steel and then, ultimately electricity, with their coal and meet the EPA standards, so they (Coal Producers) are very excited because it is a good return on their investment and a good place to sell their product.”
Albrecht told business leaders Thursday morning New Steel needs $300 million from actual investors in cash in the company.
He said another important component would be a contract with an energy producer to purchase the excess power produced by the plant when it is up and running.
Everything is predicated on completing a Hatch Study, Albrecht said. Several area residents have already recently kicked in $10,000 apiece for a total of $50,000 - enough to get the study started. A Hatch Study is a comprehensive investigation of the proposed project that would be beneficial for banks and other lending institutions to look at for potential investment. A Hatch Study looks at the product, the market for that product, the viability to make that product efficiently and market it competitively. They also look at the rate of return for investors.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.