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DKRW to start construction of Medicine Bow plant in one year

DKRW Advanced Fuels has submitted updated materials to the state Industrial Siting Division regarding a proposed a coal-to-liquids conversion facility near Medicine Bow. Construction was slated to start this year, but in March the company pulled its construction schedule and socioeconomic impact report from its file with the Industrial Siting Division and the Division gave them until June 19th to submit updated materials.

Wade Cline, Executive Vice President in charge of construction for DKRW, says they now plan to start construction in July of 2014 and hope to be in operation by mid-2018. He says it’s been hard to get the financing and construction parties to the table at the same time.

“We still look to private investors for the project equity. We’re looking at a combination of Chinese banks, international commercial banks, and other sources for the debt. So there’s been no real change in that. But again, the financing efforts, have been a little bit behind schedule because we’re waiting to finalize some of these construction labor issues,” says Cline. 

Cline says DKRW wants to use local labor when possible, but there are nationwide shortages of labor for this kind of job.

“The delay has not been directly related to any one contractor. It has been related to continuing efforts on working with various subcontractors. And the real challenge in the market right now for any project, whether it’s in Wyoming or anywhere else, is the shortage of construction labor, with the shale gas development that has occurred,” says Cline.

The Industrial Siting Division’s administrator, Luke Esch, says he has no timeline for when review of the new construction plan and socioeconomic impact report will be completed.

Irina Zhorov is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Wyoming. In between, she worked as a photographer and writer for Philadelphia-area and national publications. Her professional interests revolve around environmental and energy reporting and she's reported on mining issues from Wyoming, Mexico, and Bolivia. She's been supported by the Dick and Lynn Cheney Grant for International Study, the Eleanor K. Kambouris Grant, and the Social Justice Research Center Research Grant for her work on Bolivian mining and Uzbek alpinism. Her work has appeared on Voice of America, National Native News, and in Indian Country Today, among other publications.
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