$2.5B Coal-to-Diesel Plant Proposed in Dale

Posted: Updated:

An energy company is proposing a $2.5 billion coal-to-diesel facility in Spencer County. Riverview Energy Corp., which is based in Delaware and has a presence in New York, says the operation would eventually produce 4.8 million barrels of diesel fuel and 2.5 million barrels of naphtha, a liquid used as a  solvent, a fuel and in plastics. President Gregory Merle says the facility would be the only one of its kind in the U.S. and is the company's most ambitious project yet.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Merle said Riverview Energy is still in the early stages of the planning and permitting process. "We've selected the site in Spencer County," he said, "we've filed our application with IDEM for our air permits for construction, and that means we've conducted some engineering, some of the preliminary design on the site, we have a plot plan -- all of that information is out there." Merle adds the full vision for the site, including building locations on the 550 acres and blueprints, is still being refined. Full funding has not yet been locked in and Merle believes production could be about three years away.

The process that would be used in the plant, Merle says, involves applying high pressure and temperature to coal particles through direct conversion, not burning or gasifying the coal. He calls it a "new use" for coal. "We will not likely see a new, coal-fired power-generation plant built in the U.S. in our lifetime," so he says the process would provide another outlet for the coal industry. Indiana's coal has a high sulfur content, which Merle says works well with the chemical reactions that take place in the direct conversion process.

Merle says the U.S. 231 and Interstate 64 location is ideal because of its access to coal in the Illinois Basin, rail lines, natural gas, power and highways to ship the end products. He says the state's business climate also played a role in the decision to select southwest Indiana. "The site is ideally situated to bring our products to any variety of markets that might need it. We can bring it to the Northeast for home heating -- especially in the winter. We can bring it to the North. There's the hub in Chicago, and that's most likely for transportation and trucking and agriculture (industries), and it can go down to the Gulf Coast for shipping," he said. "It's also a product-based decision, in that we can kind of send our products anywhere we want."

The company says if the project moves forward, it would create over 2,000 construction jobs and 225 full-time jobs to run the facility. You can connect to more about the company and its plans in Spencer County by clicking here.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, President Gregory Merle said Riverview Energy is still in the early stages of the planning and permitting process.
  • Perspectives

    • Indiana Isn't 'Silicon Prairie,' It's The Nation's Nucleus

      Dear Career Seekers and Job Creators: Several years ago, I was lying in bed thinking about the incredible transformation that has occurred in Indiana over the last 20 years and the phrase "The Nation's Nucleus" popped into my head. Indiana has been called the Silicon Prairie and the "Crossroads of America," but the ingredients to be The Nation's Nucleus go much deeper.



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy Cook Group)

      Cook to Begin Work on GE Plant Renovations

      Bloomington-based Cook Group will Friday break ground on its newest facility, located on the site of the former GE refrigeration plant on the city’s west side. The company acquired the site in November and said the development would lead to 500 new jobs over the next 10 years. 

    • Developers Show Interest in 'North River' Site

      A 29-acre site that formerly housed a metal recycling facility in Fort Wayne has garnered interest from potential developers. Our partners at WPTA-TV report IU Health is among four groups that have submitted qualifications for the North River property. 

    • Surgeon General Talks Indiana Opioid Crisis

      U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who served three years as Indiana's state health commissioner, says better partnerships are key to putting a dent in the opioid crisis statewide and throughout the country. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Adams said the combination of more federal dollars and a focus at all levels of government on "better health through better partnerships" is a good start toward getting a handle on the issue.

    • (photo courtesy Purdue University)

      Purdue Dedicates Animal Sciences Complex

      Purdue University is celebrating the dedication of its $60 million animal sciences complex. The 123,000-square-foot complex includes two buildings that feature research laboratories, classrooms, and interactive spaces. Purdue says the facility boosts its "commitment to Indiana’s vital food animal production industry by establishing a center for interactive student learning, advanced research and enhanced Extension programming." 

    • Indy Library to Break Ground on New Branch

      The Indianapolis Public Library will Friday break ground on the new $8 million Eagle Branch. The library says the project is part of its long-range strategic plan to boost access to services and improve visibility on Indy’s west side.