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UW Trustees Approve Transfer Agreement for High Plains Gasification-Advanced Technology Center

June 15, 2009

The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees today (Monday) approved the final step in the site selection process for the High Plains Gasification-Advanced Technology Center to be built in the Cheyenne Business Parkway in east Cheyenne.

The real estate transfer agreement, which the trustees approved, details the transfer of ownership of property from Cheyenne LEADS, the economic development corporation for Cheyenne and Laramie County, to the University of Wyoming.

The HPG-ATC will consist of a small-scale gasification system that would 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, which offer a method to generate electricity from coal with fewer emissions and the ability to capture carbon for future sequestration. It also will provide students an opportunity to learn about coal gasification.

The agreement follows a negotiation process authorized May 8, when the trustees identified the Laramie County site recommended by the center's governance board. 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, says 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.

Additionally, the trustees today approved negotiations with TriHydro Corporation of Laramie and the associated firm of AECOM of Fort Collins, Colo., as a consultant for permitting and due diligence for the HPG-ATC facility. Due to the complexities of the permitting and environmental approval processes for this facility, UW chose to use a consulting firm familiar with all the permitting required within Wyoming and the related environmental issues. A request for proposals was issued May 14.

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

For information on the project, visit


Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009

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