Omnis Fuel Technologies, the new owner of the Pleasants Power Station, has unveiled an ambitious two-year plan to revitalize the once-struggling plant. Their vision includes the construction of an Omnis Quantum Refinery on the power plant’s premises. The refinery, powered by a proprietary process, will convert coal into graphite and hydrogen.
This transformative strategy involves retrofitting the existing coal-fired power plant to burn hydrogen as an energy source, while the produced graphite will be sold as a component for electric car batteries and other technologies. The company ensures that all current employees will retain their jobs, with an estimated 800 new jobs being created once the operation is fully functional by early 2025.
Elected officials and stakeholders see this plan as a hopeful future for a power plant that has nearly faced closure multiple times in recent years. Governor Jim Justice lauded Omnis Fuel Technologies’ proposal, describing it as a groundbreaking venture in the revitalization of coal-fired power plants.
However, not everyone shares the same optimism. Sean O’Leary, a senior researcher at the Ohio River Valley Institute, raises concerns about Omnis’ aspirations for graphite production. The company aims to produce 6.1 million tons annually by 2025, while the global consumption for graphite, according to recent data, stands at 3.5 million metric tons. While the graphite market is expected to grow due to the rise of electric vehicles, O’Leary questions whether Omnis’ target is achievable.
Pleasants county commissioner Jay Powell, on the other hand, expresses confidence in Omnis Fuel Technologies and their track record of fulfilling their commitments. Powell believes that Omnis has the potential to expand their operations to other power stations, acknowledging their unique position as the first location in their business plan.
While Omnis Fuel Technologies has not provided a statement about these concerns, they remain committed to their transformative plans for the Pleasants Power Station.