- Associated Press - Monday, February 24, 2014

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - An official with a company developing a $2 billion plant that would turn coal into gasoline and other liquid fuels near Medicine Bow said he’s once again optimistic the project could get a federal loan.

The Energy Department has been considering Houston-based DKRW Advanced Fuels‘ 2008 application for a $1.75 billion loan guarantee. Company officials had largely given up on the federal financing after the review process stalled, DKRW Executive Vice President Wade Cline said.

Now, talks between the company and Energy Department have resumed since Ernest Moniz was named energy secretary last spring, Cline said.

“Once Secretary Moniz hired Peter Davidson to be the new head of the loan program, they have taken a fresh look at it and are moving forward,” Cline told the Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1hLbseC) on Friday.

A department spokeswoman declined to comment, saying it is department policy not to speak about ongoing reviews.

The development could be a boost for the project. DKRW has struggled to obtain financing since it first proposed the plant in 2004.

The department’s loan-guarantee program was established in 2005 to provide loans for clean-energy projects, nuclear power plants and advanced technologies involving fossil fuels.

Only one of eight applications for advanced fossil-fuel technologies was considered active in a Government Accountability Office report released almost a year ago.

The report did not name individual applicants, but the active request was for $2.8 billion, indicating it was not DKRW’s proposal.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com