, Corbin, KY


July 5, 2013

Patriot makes presentation for spec building

Corbin business park site of prime interest to energy company

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer

Since March, Patriot Bioenergy has had their eyes at a patch of land at the Southeast Kentucky Regional Business Park in Corbin. On Wednesday, they got down to some specifics on why they want an “integrated energy” facility at the site.

Citing opportunity, jobs and a positive economic impact, officials of the Pikeville-based company made their presentation in the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce meeting room.

Patriot CEO Roger Ford told those present his company wants to use the available spec building at the park to locate the power plant and ethanol sections of their planned facility. That facility would be used by Patriot to convert sugar beets, called “energy beets,” into fuel.

Patriot currently has more than 20 acres of energy beets growing in Whitley County, which are being used to test growing conditions.

He said Patriot would also use solar panels around the building to produce power. Because it would use natural gas, solar power and biomass, the plant would be referred to as an integrated energy facility.

“You’ll have new energy and traditional energy side-by-side. That’s the key. They can work together,” Ford said to the group at the presentation.

Those present included Bruce Carpenter, Executive Director of the Corbin Industrial Development Authority (CIDA) and the Southern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney, retired business executive and Corbin resident Bob Terrell Sr., and Patriot Chief Financial Officer William Conn.

During the visual presentation, Ford and Conn pointed out opportunities were knocking at the door by using the land and resources available in the region and state.

“Eighty-nine percent of reclaimed mine sites are not being utilized for economic development. There are 19,000 natural gas wells in production in Kentucky. And the sun isn’t burning out anytime soon,” Ford noted.

The overall project would produce ethanol through modular facilities from feedstock within a 70-mile radius of the plant, which would cover all of the Tri-County and much of southeastern Kentucky.

“It’s very valuable for agriculture to grow the beets because it’s an add-on for farmers,” Ford said about beet growing in Whitley, Knox and Laurel counties.

A minimum of two million gallons of ethanol per unit would be produced, as well as co-generate electricity with solar, gasified biomass and natural gas. In addition, the by-products from the project would be monetized which Patriot officials said would increase profitability.

Those products include four million gallons per year of ethanol, over 7,000 dry tons per year of livestock supplement, potable water, food grade Carbon Dioxide, and coupled power generation from renewable electricity.

The company wants to start first with getting the plant in place at the business park, which they called Phase I.

Patriot said the economic impact would be major as a result of Phase I which involves power generation, with 25-30 full-time jobs with an average wage of $20-$25 an hour. An additional 125 jobs were forecast for Phase II, which involves fuel production, with the average wage ranging from $40-$45 an hour. Up to 500 temporary construction jobs would be created by the two phases. The company added the economic impact from Phase I would be $12 million, and $40 million for Phase II.

To build the plant in Corbin, Patriot needs a minimum of 25 acres for the plant, three-phase power and a 69-kilovolt substation, water and sewer treatment, and natural gas.

The spec building is approximately 54,000 square feet and sits on approximately 36 acres, giving room to expand. The site is off the Corbin Bypass (KY 3041) within the Corbin city limits in Knox County, and has water and sewer service, electricity supplied, broadband available, and quick access to Exit 25 of I-75.

“What is your timetable?” Carpenter asked Ford.

“We’d like some definitive progress by the fourth quarter of this year. The big piece is what will this property cost us?” Ford told him.

Carpenter told Ford the total price for the spec building and 36 acres is $2.2 million.

“That gives us a starting point. ...We’re trying to nail down getting the plant in place to get those funding incentives from government, business and energy sources. The financing is there. We’ve just got to make sure all the numbers are correct,” Ford said.

“Can it (the spec building and property) be leased?” Terrell asked Carpenter.

Carpenter told him, “It can be leased.”

After Ford told Carpenter the property needed to be surveyed locally and to check on the acreage, he mentioned Patriot would do some solar and terrain measurements and could look into having a feasibility study done.

Carpenter told Ford and Conn he would bring up the proposal and get an official from Frankfort to come to the next CIDA board meeting. That meeting will be Aug. 7 at 4 p.m. at the Chamber office on Depot Street.

“We want an agreed-to price on the property and a lease option, so when the numbers come in, we can go and move forward,” Ford said before the presentation ended.

Text Only
0424 fire.jpg

Six fire departments battled a stubborn blaze Wednesday at a Laurel County tire recycling facility. The fire sent a black plume of smoke into the air that could be seen for miles.

  • Tire facility catches fire

    Six fire departments battled a stubborn blaze Wednesday at a Laurel County tire recycling facility.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

Local News
Local Sports
0421 nlhs Makayla Vires.jpg

North Laurel's Makayla Vires is this week's Fastpitch Player of the Week after tossing a no-hitter against Somerset.

  • Lady Redhounds roll past Whitley

    The Corbin Lady Redhounds exploded for 11 runs in the first inning, and never looked back during their 13-0 rout of 50th District foe Whitley County.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tri-County Wrap-Up

    The Whitley County Colonel tennis team picked up a win over Clay County, but the Lady Colonels dropped their match with the Lady Tigers this past week.

    April 24, 2014

0423 quilt.jpg

Melissa Bowling of London (left) and Paula Newman of Williamsburg (right) told their stories about donating their kidneys during an exhibit Tuesday at Baptist Health Corbin hospital, which included the display of the Donor Family Quilt. Standing behind Melissa is her husband, Chad, while standing behind Paula is her brother-in-law, Rick McKiddy of Corbin.

0424 Bville pump track.jpg

Bicyclists of all stages of expertise will be able to practice their bike-handling skills in a controlled setting at Barbourville's new Skill Track.

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide