The Christian County Economic Development Corporation held their annual meeting Wednesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium, to review ongoing economic development efforts in the county.
Following the meeting and lunch, guest speaker was vice president for business development for the Tenaska project, Bart Ford. Tenaska has worked for several years, to get necessary state approval to build a 3-billion dollar plant northeast of Taylorville that will use clean coal technology to turn coal into methane, a form of natural gas, which will be used at a co-located power plant, as well as being sold on the open market.
Ford reviewed with the over 100 in attendance, how the plant will turn coal into methane, and also strip out sulfar and carbon dioxide which will also be sold for industrial use.
Ford then recapped last year's efforts to secure permission from the Illinois General Assembly, to build the plant, and what their efforts have been to date this year to try and get legislators' permission to begin construction. That construction means some 25-hundred construction jobs over 4 years, and 200 permanent jobs at the plant.
Ford added that work this year has been positive so far, especially the announcement by Illinois Senate President John Cullerton that he will sponsor the bill in this fall's veto session.
Ford added the Tenaska legislation, which is part of a broader solar and wind power bill, will be introduced in the Illinois Senate during the first week of the veto session October 25th thru the 27th.
Ford's appearance was met by about half a dozen picketers outside the hospital auditorium, representing the Sierra Club which is on-record as opposing the project.