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UW, GE Energy Celebrate Site Selection for Coal Research Facility

June 23, 2009 — University of Wyoming and GE Energy officials today (Tuesday) joined civic and economic development leaders in recognizing the selection of Cheyenne as the site of the proposed High Plains Gasification-Advanced Technology Center.

"This facility promises to advance new technology that advances energy technologies that could sustain coal in the marketplace in this state for decades to come," said UW President Tom Buchanan, at the ceremony in the Union Pacific Depot in Cheyenne. "The center offers research opportunities that will be a tremendous asset to UW. It will be an important part of our energy research enterprise."

Last week, the UW Board of Trustees approved the real estate transfer agreement that detailed the transfer of ownership of property in the Cheyenne Business Parkway from Cheyenne LEADS, the economic development corporation for Cheyenne and Laramie County, to the University of Wyoming.

The High Plains Gasification-Advanced Technology Center will consist of a small-scale gasification system that will allow UW and GE Energy researchers to develop and validate advanced coal gasification technology solutions for Powder River Basin and other Wyoming coals. The plant is expected to allow engineers to gain experience in advanced coal gasification processes. It also will provide students an opportunity to learn about coal gasification.

The Laramie County site was among three sites evaluated from 15 proposals submitted in February. The recommendation for the Laramie County site followed a comprehensive site selection and acquisition process based on criteria developed jointly by UW and GE Energy.

Construction is expected to take two to two and a half years, with employment expected to peak at approximately 300 construction jobs, said Bill Gern, UW vice president for research and economic development. When in operation, the project will employ approximately 15 skilled and semi-skilled workers. The total construction costs, including installed equipment, are expected to be approximately $100 million.

GE Energy and UW in February 2008 announced plans to develop a coal gasification facility.

For information on the project, visit

Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2009

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