Benwood Project

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The coal-to-liquids project was sponsored by Houston-based Synthesis Energy Systems and CONSOL Energy. The project would have been the first in the United State for SES, which also has a working coal-to-liquids plant in China and two others currently under development. SES also has announced plans for another U.S. plant in Mississippi, which is still in the works.[1]

The plant was planned for the Marshall County Industrial Park in Benwood and would have utilized both coal and waste coal from the nearby Consol-owned Shoemaker Mine. Additional coal also could have been brought in from the McElroy and Loveridge mines, which also are owned by Consol.

In October 2008, the project was cancelled. Synthesis cited hard economic times, unwillingness to commit equity capital, and a drop in oil prices. Consol expressed interested in continuing to pursue coal-to-liquids in the Northern Panhandle region of West Virginia, but said it would need a partner.

The project had received commitments of state tax credits, which remain intact.

Project Details

Sponsor: Consol Energy and Synthesis Energy Systems
Location: Benwood, Marshall County, West Virginia
Capacity: 720,000 metric tons of methanol and 100 million gallons of 87-octane gasoline
Type: coal-to-liquid
Projected in service: 2012
Status: Cancelled



  1. Annie Dimmick, "Consol still wants to build plant, but other backer bolts," Wheeling News Register, October 23, 2008

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