MASON COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – An energy technology company is bringing a new plant to Mason County, West Virginia.
Frontieras North America says this plant will be its first FASForm™ plant. The company uses its new technologies including its Solid Carbon Fraction™ (SCF) to reform the production of coal, waste plastics and hydrogen by “extracting volatiles, moisture, and contaminants.” Company officials say this process creates a “cleaner” form of coal called “FASCarbon.”
“We are excited to bring Frontieras to the forefront of the energy market and engage with the great people of Mason County,” said Matthew McKean, CEO and Co-Founder of Frontieras, in a press release. “Frontieras selection of its West Virginia site allows us to receive and ship products across the globe. Our interactions with state officials to the local business community have provided insight into the positive working relationship that we expect as we break ground, bring the FASForm Plant online and employ citizens of West Virginia.”
According to the company, the new plant is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2023 and employ up to 500 people. John Musgrave, the executive director for the Mason County Development Authority, says this is only the beginning.
“For every one job that we can create, at a company like Nucore and Frontier’s, it’ll mean about five other jobs created. So you can see the impact it’s going to have; not only for Mason county, but for the surrounding areas,” Musgrave explained.
One Mason County resident, Maria Young, says after watching multiple people close, and many people lose jobs, this could only be a good thing.
“We need more major employers. It will give a lot of employment opportunities for people and even bring other people into our area that have been laid off from other coal mines. So I think it’ll do really well for our area,” said Young.
“I could not be more excited to welcome Frontieras North America to West Virginia. I thank them for selecting Mason County as the home of their new plant,” said West Virginia Governor Jim Justice in a press release. “Our goal is for West Virginia to become the energy powerhouse of the world and we just keep growing in this vital industry that is both important to our economy, and critical to ensuring the security of America.”
The company says it conducted an exhaustive search throughout Texas, Wyoming and West Virginia before deciding to build the new plant in Mason County, saying the county has “quickly become the epicenter for the nation’s answer to the energy crisis.”
“We want people to come to West Virginia. We want them to know we’re the diamond in the rough that they missed,” Justice said.
This is the second company just this year to announce plans to build a new facility in Mason County. In January, Nucor, announced it would bring a new steel sheet mill to the Apple Grove area of Mason County, which is set to create 800 full-time jobs and 1,000 construction jobs to the area, according to state officials.
Frontieras also says factors that played a part in the decision included the state ranking fifth in the country for energy production in 2019. In 2020, the Mountain State was also the second-largest coal producer in the country after Wyoming and the state’s crud oil production reached an all-time high of 20 million barrels.
Frontieras has not announced where in Mason County it plans to build the new facility.