BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Backers of a proposed coal-to-liquid fuel plant in western North Dakota will ask for a fifth extension of state aid to study the project, a spokesman said Monday.
Dallas-based North American Coal Corp. spokesman David Straley told The Associated Press that developers will ask for another extension before year's end. Developers still need favorable coal legislation and a clear U.S. energy policy for the $4 billion project to move forward, he said.
"We still believe this project holds value and has potential," Straley said.
North American Coal and Headwaters Inc. of South Jordan, Utah, formed American Lignite Energy LLC in 2007 to oversee construction and operation of the plant. A site for the factory has not been announced.
The state Industrial Commission in 2007 committed up to $10 million in state aid from coal tax collections to determine the project's potential.
More than $1.35 million has been used to study the project to date, said Karlene Fine, the Industrial Commission's director.
The commission originally gave American Lignite Energy until the end of 2008 to decide if the project was feasible. It has extended the deadline annually since then. Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem — all Republicans — make up the commission.