Clean-Seas has facilities all over the world, including India, to take waste plastics and turn them into fuels, oils, and hydrogen. The company plans to build a facility in West Virginia.
CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice announced a new economic development project coming to West Virginia taking advantage of state loans and federal tax breaks for new hydrogen projects.
Speaking during his weekly virtual administration briefing Wednesday morning, Justice announced that California-based Clean Vision Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding with the West Virginia Department of Economic Development last Thursday for the construction of a hydrogen manufacturing facility in Eastern Kanawha County.
Clean Vision created a subsidiary – Clean-Seas West Virginia – filing paperwork Thursday with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.
“Today, I’m excited to make another economic development announcement,” Justice said. “Clean-Seas is going to build a brand-new facility in Quincy. It’s always good to see stuff moving towards Southern West Virginia.”
“This will be there first American operation, and they did a nationwide search for the best place in America to locate this facility,” said Mitch Carmichael, cabinet secretary of the Department of Economic Development. After that extensive search, they selected the State of West Virginia and the town of Quincy. I commend them for that incredible decision.”
The new company will take plastic feedstock and convert the feedstock into clean fuels, including hydrogen. The company’s goal is to take waste plastics found in landfills and oceans and convert those plastics into ultra-low sulphur diesel, industrial oils, carbon black, and hydrogen.
Dan Bates, the CEO of Clean Vision, is listed as the Clean-Sea’s vice president. The company released a press release Monday and Bates joined Justice and Carmichael on Wednesday’s briefing by video conference call.
“We’re very excited to be in West Virginia,” Bates said. “We looked throughout the country for a state that was going to help us with the leadership, the thought leadership, to what we can do environmentally and economically, providing great jobs and providing an opportunity to remove a blight on the country and the world – waste plastic.”
The Clean-Seas project will be at least a $50 million investment in the state and will create at least 40 full-time jobs. The company plans to be up-and-running by 2024, processing waste plastic at a rate of 100 tons per day once construction is completed and scaling up to 500 tons per day in the future.
Clean-Seas is taking advantage of more than $12 million in economic incentives offered by the state, including $1.75 million in one or more forgivable loans plus tax and employment incentives and tax credits. West Virginia will also join Clean-Sea’s Plastic Conversion Network (PCN) as its Atlantic hub. PCN works to source waste plastics from developing nations for Clean-Seas facilities.
“We’re looking forward to helping the state develop its own robust recycling program so that we cannot just take plastic and convert it, but we can help take the plastic resources that are available within the borders of West Virginia and really begin to make a difference in your state,” Bates said.
Bates credited Del. Daniel Linville, R-Cabell, for helping to recruit Clean-Seas to West Virginia. Linville, the chairman of the House Technology and Infrastructure Committee, also participated in Wednesday’s briefing.
“I’m so excited,” Linville said. “It’s going to make a huge impact for the 40 families to begin with. I think … that ultimately it could be a few hundred families who are employed there … once again we have another home run.”
Clean-Seas uses a pyrolysis process to break down waste plastics and plastics that are not easily recyclable through traditional means. The pyrolysis process creates byproducts that can be used for diesel fuels, industrial oils, and hydrogen. The process also creates no-to-low emissions, with facilities able to power themselves once they become operational.
“We are absolutely thrilled that this company will help alleviate the plastic recycling stream and take that plastic recycling stream and turn it into great products for use in our energy resources, low-sulphur diesel fuel, graphene, and all the products that can be extracted from the plastic recycling stream while cleaning up our environment,” Carmichael said.
Hydrogen is a clean fuel that can be used for industrial production, heavy transportations, and energy fuel cells while only producing water as a byproduct. Justice and West Virginia’s congressional delegations have been actively seeking hydrogen projects since the passage of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the $737 billion Inflation Reduction Act.
The West Virginia Hydrogen Hub Working Group — made up of state and federal elected leaders — submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Energy last year to land a regional hydrogen hub. U.S. Senators Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.,were able to insert specific language in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act requiring at least one hub to be placed in the Appalachian region.
In September, multiple natural gas and clean energy companies announced a partnership bring a hydrogen hub to West Virginia. The Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub, or ARCH2, would take advantage of the state’s access to natural gas supplies and existing infrastructure to manufacture blue hydrogen and store the carbon emissions underground.
Another hydrogen project may be in the works for the Pleasants Power Plant near St. Marys. Texas-based Energy Transition and Environmental Management – the owners of Pleasants Power – is in talks with California-based Omnis Fuel Technologies to purchase the plan to produce hydrogen instead of generating electricity from burning coal.
The Inflation Reduction Act also includes a clean hydrogen as an allowable project for its investment tax credit program for clean energy projects, recovering up to 30% of the costs of the hydrogen program based on the amount of emissions the project produces. Once an eligible facility is online, it can receive a certain amount of the maximum tax credit in year one based on certain criteria.
“This is a continuation of the success your administration has had with economic development announcements,” Carmichael said. “At the end of the day, a job is more than a paycheck … it provides family security, opportunities for the future, a structure for our society, and just hope for the future generations. We fight very had for each one of these jobs and opportunities in this state.”
“This is another from a long stream of economic development announcements that we’ve been able to do,” Justice said. “We want to just keep on doing them … because it brings opportunity, employment, and so much to West Virginians. It gives us the opportunity as we go forward for our families to stay together.”