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Officials concur proposed complex will boost economy

by Davin White

STAFF WRITER

Business officials and politicians from North Central West Virginia agree that a proposed coal-fired power station and mining complex in Upshur County will greatly help the economy of the area.

Dominion will fund the $600 million project that is expected to create 500 jobs during construction of the station and 25 to 30 permanent mining jobs.

It will also employ 50 to 60 permanent high-skill jobs, created when the station is operational, including "control-room operators" and "fuel handlers," Dominion spokesman Bob Fulton said.

Anker Energy will provide the coal.

Bob Fulton, Dominion spokesman

* "This certainly is the first step in economic development. (It) should be the beginning of facilities of this kind in the future. We're proud to be among the first." He said that job creation "brings tax advantages and economic advantages to Upshur County."

Mike Lowther, R&W Hose and Supply Co., Inc., Buckhannon

* "It will definitely help. Anything that will bring some coal mining back into the area will definitely help."

Donnie Tenney, Upshur commissioner

* "A continuation of a good partnership with Anker." He added that the combined effort is a good example of how "business works with government to bring good things to citizens, so they can stay here."

Chris Hamilton, vice president, West Virginia Coal Association

* "It's extremely good for North Central West Virginia -- from the standpoint of creating jobs ... Hopefully it's the first of several announcements of base-load, coal-fired plants coming online in the state ... This is an enormous investment in the state of West Virginia and for West Virginians."

U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd

* "The new Upshur County facility planned by Dominion and Anker will showcase the benefits of these technologies while providing an economic boost for the region."

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller

* "The people of Upshur County will be getting a world-class facility, and the world will be getting a look at the enormous potential of clean-coal technologies. Everybody wins."

U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore-Capito

* "The Dominion-Anker facility will use West Virginia's abundant reserves of coal to fuel our state economy and provide more jobs."

Staff writer Davin White can be reached at 626-1448.

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