Company Eyes Two Elk Site For Clean Coal Tech

Nov 9, 2017

Credit Stephanie Joyce

At the site of Wyoming’s fraudulent Two Elk coal research project, another advanced coal facility wants to move in.

Wyoming New Power, Inc. is a company that plans on bringing clean coal technology to the state and selling that cleaner coal. That technology involves taking coal and removing moisture and pollutants to make it easier to ship and cleaner and more efficient to burn. This has been tried before in the state, but with little success.

Wyoming New Power is eying an interesting place: the Two Elk site near Gillette, where Michael Ruffatto took millions in state and federal funds to create a clean coal project, but instead spent it on himself.

But, it’s a good location, according to Patrick Imeson. He’s a founding member of Wyoming New Power. He said it’s near rail infrastructure and coal mines and could lend itself to energy generation if this new cleaner coal energy finds a market.

The property purchase isn’t finalized, though.

“We think we’re close,” he said, adding the caveat, “should Two Elk not work for us, there are other sites.”

Imeson said they’re also working on technology advancements and raising $100 million through industrial development revenue bonding. That bond is basically a way for the company to get loans through private or public parties and not have to pay taxes on the loan’s interest.

"Essentially, the project is borrowing money under the terms of the bonds,” he says. “The interest payments are tax-exempt federally and also... on the county and the state-wide basis."

Wyoming New Power is applying for the bond through Carbon County.

Imeson said his company is focusing most on technology, though, which has been a hang-up for clean coal projects in the past.

“I would probably rank technology number one, money number two and property number three,” he said.

Imeson is also the managing director of Denver-based private equity firm Black Diamond Holdings, which has a stake in both Wyoming New Power and Clean Coal Technologies, Inc.

This story was originally reported by WyoFile on November 7.