Representatives from the Nerd Energy Group gave a presentation to city and county officials and a select few others on a proposed natural gas/coal to gasoline plant they are planning to possibly locate near Lake DeSmet.
Joe Nicholas, chemical engineer with the company, explained that the combination of abundant water, natural gas, coal, and needed infrastructure either on or near lands the company owns at the lake make it an ideal location for this type of plant.
The company has also looked into the possibility of locating the plant in southwest Wyoming, but according to their studies, the Lake DeSmet location is by far the best choice, he said.
The proposed plant is still in the study and feasibility stage, with much more needed before a decision will be made to build the plant or not.
The technology the plant would incorporate has been proven feasible at similar coal or gas to liquids plants in China, but the proposed plant at Lake DeSmet would be the first of its kind in the United States, if it is built.
Nicholas explains the company's reasons for considering the Lake DeSmet site and what it would mean to the local and regional economy.
If everything were to fall into place, the earliest the plant could begin construction would probably be 2015 or 2016, according to Nicholas, but realistically would probably take longer to study, design, permit and then build.
The next update on the progress of the project is expected in the first quarter of 2012 at the earliest.