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County approves permit for carbon dioxide plant

Staff reporter

The Carbon County Commission approved a conditional use permit last week for a new industry to move into the local area.

The request for the permit came through the county's planning and zoning board approval process unscathed.

And on April 2, Carbon County commissioners conducted a public hearing on the business' permit application.

The carbon dioxide plant will be constructed west of the Sunnyside Junction on U.S. Highway 6 at the old Banning coal loadout site.

"It will be about 45 days before we break ground and it will take us about nine months to complete construction," said Troy Shelly of East Carbonics.

The plant will be located on a 120-acre site and developers expect spin off industries to be constructed nearby.

Initially, Carbonics will employ three to five workers at the plant, according to the company representative.

Approximately 10 to 14 truck drivers will also be working with the company, according to the developers.

The plant will be enclosed in an 80 by 200 foot building and the carbon dioxide will be transported from the local operation by rail and truck.

One spin off industry the developers expect is a dry ice plant. Carbonics developers estimate that the dry ice production facility could employ as many as 20 people.

The company plans to use the old county road that runs to U.S. Highway 6 to transport the product from the plant. Carbonics will provide the improvements needed to use the road for transportation purposes.

In addition, the company plans to drill a well to provide the water necessary to operate the carbon dioxide plant.

The developers have already secured a state permit to drill the water well.

The plant will produce carbon dioxide for use by companies producing beverages.

The local development site sits on one of the largest natural occurring sources of carbon dioxide gas in North America.

Developers indicated that the Carbonics has signed a contract with a Louisiana company to purchase all of the gas the plant can produce at the location near the Sunnyside Junction.

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