In late 2017, the then-
According to a news release, the company has suspended those plans after its primary potential investor withdrew support for the
“We are extremely disappointed with this potential investor’s decision and are well aware of the hope that Enerblu’s project has generated in
The company’s ambitious project was lauded by public officials as a potentially transformative boon to
Elliott said the ground at the industrial park proved difficult to build on, and that soil work to make the ground viable would cost $30 million to fix. “We’re trying like hell,” Elliott told the crowd. “It’s a lot harder than we thought.”
Still, some officials remained hopeful, and Elliott even increased the number of potential employees in
It is unclear how long Enerblu officials have known the company would suspend its plans to build in
“While it’s disappointing, its part of the nature of this work — that not every project comes to fruition the way we hope it would,” said
The company’s initial announcement in
“It’s a game-changer not only for
Public officials have been working for years to attract new industry and jobs to the region, where the precipitous decline in coal production has left residents with few options for well-paying jobs.
In the third quarter of 2013, there were more than 8,000 coal jobs in the region. That figure dropped to about 3,800 in the third quarter of 2018.
The loss of coal production has brought a decline in the region’s general population, putting a strain on local governments and utilities that rely on taxpayer and rate-payer dollars.
“It is very disheartening to learn that EnerBlu is withdrawing plans to bring 875 good-paying jobs to the Big Sandy area, but we know that multimillion dollar projects come with immense obstacles,” said
Enerblu is one of several projects that officials believed could help turn the tide.
Last month, AppHarvest, a high-tech greenhouse company that anticipated bringing 140 jobs to
The city of
AppHarvest, too, said the ground at the industrial park was not suitable for their project.
One company, SilverLiner, a tanker-truck manufacturer, has built on the site and plans to move into its building this spring, according to East Kentucky Broadcasting Television.
“Throughout the process of working with EnerBlu, our city officials and local economic development authorities have given this partnership an abundance of attention for what we know could have been a transformative project for our community,” Elswick said.
That company also has been lauded as a potential game-changer for
A Braidy spokesperson told the Herald-Leader last year the company and its subsidiaries “remain on a critical path” to opening the proposed facility.
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