Agreements are in place to develop a $7 billion coal-to-liquids project on the Crow Reservation in southeastern Montana. Parties to the agreement include the Crow Tribe of Indians (ApsMooke Nation) and Australian-American Energy Company LLC (AAEC).
The Many Stars Project is initially targeted to convert 38,000 tons per day of coal into 50,000 barrels per day of ultra-clean diesel, jet fuel and naphtha. The project is expected to provide 900 permanent jobs on the reservation after start up, which is scheduled for 2016. In addition, construction would provide up to 4,000 temporary jobs. The impact of these jobs will be a tremendous asset to this region of Montana where the unemployment rate is unusually high.
Crow Chairman Carl Venne praised the project's positive impacts. The Crow Nation has over 10 billion tons of coal resources, he said. We made a decision to pursue this type of clean-coal project because it provides long-term economic and social benefits for our people for many generations to come. The Many Stars Project will help us become self-sufficient.
Governor Schweitzer, who has long been an advocate of coal-to-liquid fuels technology, praised the project. With over 100 billion tons of coal resources in the state, Montana is the 'Saudi Arabia of Coal' and we are doing our part to help make energy security with clean fuels a reality, the governor replied. We anticipate this project being a model for clean-coal energy projects in Montana and the United States.
Under terms of the agreement, the Crow Nation has committed coal and water resources for the project while AAEC will provide the development capital and project management. As part of the agreement, AAEC also will be assisting Little Big Horn College in creating needed training and educational programs to meet the human resource needs of the project. Additionally, discussions are underway with Montana State University and Idaho State University for education and training of the energy workforce that will be necessary for the project.