governor also announced $5 million in grants from the Clean Coal
Review Board, which identifies the very best cutting-edge coal
utilization technologies and encourages their application in
Illinois. Through this innovative program, Southern Illinois
University-Carbondale's Coal Research Center and the Clean Coal
Review Board will develop strategies to encourage the application of
innovative coal technologies in commercial settings. It is comprised
of elected state officials along with industry and educational
representatives. The newest member is state Sen. Gary Forby,
D-Benton. The Clean Coal Review Board was established by SIUC after
it received a donation of $25 million from the Commonwealth Edison
Company following the sale of Commonwealth's western coal-fired
fossil fuel plants in and near the Chicago area.
"These grants represent a
significant shot in the arm for an industry that has weathered
considerable hardship but offers great promise," Gov. Blagojevich
said. "We must do better at deploying this abundant Illinois
resource as a homegrown source of energy for our nation and a source
of jobs and economic growth for the coal mining regions of this
The grant program was redesigned by
Gov. Blagojevich to increase incentives for projects that deploy
state-of-the-art technologies and create new markets for Illinois
coal. One such project at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
will receive $3.35 million in grant funding to retrofit an idled
power plant boiler, putting it back into service using clean coal
"Governor Blagojevich has
demonstrated our commitment to ensure that southern Illinois coal
continues to play a vital role in the economic revitalization of our
region," Sen. Forby said. "By supporting cutting-edge projects and
opening up new markets for this critical natural resource, we are
helping to create more jobs while reducing our dependence on foreign
These projects will improve coal
production, transportation and utilization systems in Illinois. They
fulfill the aim to leverage private investment that improves the
quality of Illinois-mined coal, creating new markets and making
Illinois coal producers more competitive in the marketplace.
"Illinois invests more money in
developing its native coal industry than any other state," said Jack
Lavin, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic
Opportunity, which oversees the Coal Competitiveness Program. "Coal
has a bright future here in Illinois, based on our strong
partnership with dedicated coal operators and the unbreakable spirit
of the men and women who work hard each and every day in Illinois
This year's awards, plus grants from
the state's former Coal Infrastructure Program, have resulted in a
total investment of $776 million since 1996. The following awards
Coal Company, $615,559
Saline and Hamilton counties
- $135,400 to drill injection wells
and pump waste coal fines from the mine cleaning plant and inject
into open room and pillar panels at the Galatia Mine, reducing the
need for surface storage of coal slurry.
- $292,765 to enhance worker safety
by building ventilation shaft and fan to ventilate areas mined by
four longwall panels.
- $70,600 to add suplementary belt
drives to facilitate continued expansion into new coal reserves.
- $20,500 to convert a roof bolter
to diesel power for use in areas where electric power is
unavailable and to rebuild a framework for dumping coal onto
- $32,500 to rebuild seven longwall
roof support shields to ensure reliability and productivity from
the longwall mining unit.
- $37,957 to drill a new rockdust
borehole and relocate a bulk rockdust tank.
- $25,837 to install 8,000-gallon
hydraulic tank and diesel storage tanks and to drill two boreholes
to serve an underground fueling station, replacing a surface
station from which filled tanks must be lowered underground.
- $526,000 to upgrade mine
equipment in the fifth production unit, construct a new entrance
road, and construct a rockdust and petroleum storage facility.
Projects Illinois, $3.35 million
- $3.35 million to retrofit an
existing Southern Illinois University-Carbondale steam boiler with
Aireal combustion grate technology and a SOLIOS emission control
system for advanced cleanup of flue gases at the plant.
Beauty Coal Company, $1.16 million
Saline, Gallatin and Vermilion counties
- $650,000 to develop three new
pits in the Herrin No. 6 seam at the Wildcat Hills surface mine
adjacent to the Willow Lake Mine.
- $510,000 to upgrade the coal
preparation plant, expand existing reject and coal recovery areas,
and improve coal loading facilities at the Riola Mine complex.
Coaltec Energy USA, $330,000
- $330,000 to construct and
demonstrate the advantages of a low-profile battery-powered
shuttle car in underground mines and evaluate its productivity
performance for use throughout the industry.
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Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Office of Mines and
- $47,565 to purchase a Varian
CP4900 mobile Micro gas chromatograph to replace outdated
stationary equipment currently used for various air quality tests
now conducted at the IDNR Benton lab.
Hawk Coal, $286,500
Jackson and Perry counties
- $243,500 to purchase new
equipment and upgrade the wash plant at its new Red Hawk Mine,
increasing production to 600,000 tons per year.
- $43,000 to purchase new lab
equipment and a Global Positioning System monitoring system. The
lab equipment expands its on-site capabilities to monitor coal
quality. The GPS monitoring system will improve dozer efficiency
in removing overburden at the Creek Paum surface mine.
Liberty Coal Company, $431,000
- $431,000 to build and install a
slurry disposal facility to handle coal wastes of the mine through
Midwest Transload, $400,000
- $400,000 to provide shared
truck-to-rail facilities for several area coal mines now shipping
by truck. Project will provide access to two major rail lines by
rehabilitating the coal handling, loading and weighing systems.
- $252,146 for a new coal wash
plant and coal auger, increasing production and allowing the firm
to meet contract specifications.
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, $950,000
- $950,000 for the design,
engineering and construction of a coal receiving system, covered
storage and handling systems, and a coal feeding system to SIUC's
Mine Holding Company, $1.071 million
- $500,000 to rebuild or replace
underground mining equipment, which is needed to improve
efficiency and increase productivity.
- $571,000 to replace an aged
conveyor system and to strengthen conveyor roof supports, enabling
the mine to continue to operate safely.
County Coal, $305,651
- $148,626 to add two super-mining
units, perform ventilation modifications, purchase four shuttle
cars and modify two continuous miners, with a goal of increasing
production by 15 percent.
- $64,716 to purchase rail car
scales for its coal load-out facility.
- $52,399 for new coal handling
system that will allow the mine to reclaim raw coal directly into
the coal prep plant, allowing faster, more efficient cleaning and
- $39,910 to eliminate water
accumulation in previously mined areas and to pump fine slurry
from the wash plant to mined-out underground areas.
The Clean Coal Review Board grants
Energy Company, $2.5 million
Steelhead is developing the Southern
Illinois Clean Energy Center, which will be a coal
gasification-based electric generation and substitute natural gas
facility in Williamson County. The project has evolved from a
conventional power plant that would eventually use 7 million tons of
Illinois coal per year.
Nitrogen, $2.5 million
Jo Daviess County
In an aggressive effort to promote
clean-burning coal as a cost-efficient alternative to escalating
natural gas prices, this Illinois fertilizer producer is starting
the process of using advanced clean coal technology as a replacement
for natural gas to operate its East Dubuque facility. This grant
allows Royster-Clark to continue the development process that will
ultimately supplant natural gas with coal gasification as its source
of energy for fertilizer production. The Department of Commerce and
Economic Opportunity recently awarded the company $500,000 for the
project. The facility will use 1 million tons of Illinois coal per
The Opportunity Returns
regional economic development plan is the most aggressive,
comprehensive approach to creating jobs in Illinois' history. Since
a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development just doesn't
work, the governor has divided the state into 10 regions -- finding
areas with common economic strengths and needs and developing a plan
with specific actions for each region. This grass-roots effort for
the Southern region is a product of significant outreach over
several months with business, civic and labor leaders, and elected
officials. The projects that the governor has announced for the
region are designed to be flexible and effective. This plan is
tailored to deliver real results that local businesses will see,
feel and, hopefully, profit from.