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CORBIN -- The Corbin Arq Plant is continuing to move forward with the announcement of $10 million expansion funding from Community Trust Bank, Inc. (CTBI) guaranteed by the USDA's business and industry initiative.

The Arq Plant in Corbin, which is an energy facility located on the Corbin Bypass, is the first of its kind and will create over 60 jobs in the area.

Arq is an environmental energy technology company that recycles and transforms mining waste into an entirely new source of hydrocarbon.

Arq's plant in Corbin is mechanically complete but this expansion loan will cover additional capital expenditure at the site allowing Arq's facility to produce and ship finished products.

Arq President Bill West said the funding will be used to install a smaller scale demonstration dryer and blending rig at the Corbin facility. This investment will help Arq to accelerate testing of marine fuels and the research and development of advanced carbon applications.

"What happens at the facility is we do about three-fourths profit there and then the material gets sent to a large dryer facility that we're building in St. Rose, New Orleans and so the material gets shipped and gets dried and used," West explained. "So what we're doing now is we're building a smaller scale dryer, which we're calling a demonstration dryer for lack of better term, don't know what to name it type deal. It's going to run smaller amounts of material and work with developing our new uses and sources of material for the material we're making without interrupting the commercial process. It will be used for demonstration of our product and to try different blends and to try different product mixes. So it's going to be used a lot for business development and testing."

West said that construction planning for the dryer has already started with hopes of completing the project by the end of April or mid-May.

"It's 62 jobs that we're hoping to create--not just from this dryer but in total," West said of the Corbin Arq Plant. "I think the net effect for Corbin job-wise is probably going to be a couple jobs at the most because it's a small facility that we're adding. But it helps Arq succeed and appeal to a wider customer-base and enables us, possibly later on, to enlarge the whole facility and I think that's the advantage it has for Corbin."

West hopes that the addition of the dryer will help secure the future of the facility in the area and improves Arq's longterm prospects, as well as recruiting and retaining a local employee base from the area.

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