Frontieras selects West Virginia for coal processing facility

Frontieras North America, part of Frontier Applied Sciences, said it has selected a site in Mason County, West Virginia, for its inaugural FASForm coal processing plant, set for commissioning in the last quarter of next year.

The 2.7-million-ton-per-year facility, which will employ about 500, will reform coal, waste plastics and hydrogen production by extracting volatiles, moisture and contaminants under a technology it has named Solid Carbon Fractionation (SCF). West Virginia was chosen from competitors Texas and Wyoming for its easy access to raw materials, skilled workforce, roads, Class 1 freight rail and Ohio River proximity for import and export of feedstock and FASForm products. 

“This new validated process, applied to the energy market, results in the delivery of FASForm liquid and gas offerings, as well as a cleaner version of coal known as FASCarbon that will be leveraged by the steel industry,” the Arizona-based company said.

In preparation for breaking ground on the first commercial site, Frontieras has constructed a test plant. That plant validated results using West Virginia coal as its feedstock. 

Matthew McKean, CEO and co-founder of Frontieras, said the company is excited to bring its outfit and technology to the forefront of the energy market and engage with the people of Mason County.

“Frontieras’ selection of its West Virginia site allows us to receive and ship products across the globe [and] 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. The entire Frontieras team is looking forward to engaging with and becoming an active participant within the community.”

Frontieras said the FASForm technology is extremely efficient, and products can be delivered to market at or below market comparable prices without relying upon any government subsidies or carbon credits.

Also, according to company data, in 2020, West Virginia was the second-largest coal producer in the nation after Wyoming, making up 13% of U.S. coal production. West Virginia also had 12% of recoverable coal reserves at producing mines, the third-largest reserve base in the nation, after Wyoming and Illinois.