Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that SunCoke Energy, Inc., the largest independent producer of high-quality coke for blast furnace steel production in the Americas, will invest $50 million in its manufacturing operation in Buchanan County to refurbish the facility as well as perform upgrades to enable the production of foundry coke. Virginia successfully competed with Ohio for the project, which will retain approximately 100 jobs.
“SunCoke Energy has thrived in Southwest Virginia for more than half a century, and this major investment will ensure the company’s longevity in our Commonwealth for decades to come,” said Governor Northam. “This project is an important win for Buchanan County, providing a much-needed boost to the coalfields’ economy and serving as a strong vote of confidence in the region and its skilled workforce.”
SunCoke Energy, Inc. supplies high-quality coke to the integrated steel industry under long-term, take-or-pay contracts that pass through commodity and certain operating costs to customers. The company utilizes an innovative heat-recovery cokemaking technology that captures excess heat for steam or electrical power generation. In addition, SunCoke provides export and domestic material handling services to coke, coal, steel, power, and other bulk and liquids customers. The company has more than 55 years of cokemaking experience serving the integrated steel industry, with facilities located in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, and Brazil. SunCoke’s logistics terminals have the collective capacity to mix and transload more than 40 million tons of material each year, and are strategically located to reach Gulf Coast, East Coast, Great Lakes, and international ports.
“Over the past 60 years, SunCoke Energy has demonstrated resilience and commitment to its employees and the region,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The company’s investment in Buchanan County will boost and diversify Southwest Virginia’s manufacturing sector, which remains a pillar of the economy thanks to major industry players like SunCoke. We look forward to our continued partnership in this next phase of the company’s growth.”
“SunCoke has been operating the Jewell Coke plant for more than 60 years, and we are happy to continue the good relationship we have had with state and local officials,” said Mike Rippey, President and Chief Executive Officer of SunCoke Energy, Inc. “We are thankful to the Commonwealth of Virginia for providing the VIP grant. As SunCoke works through its customer contracts and prepares to enter into the foundry coke market, Jewell Coke was the ideal facility for the deployment of capital for refurbishment and upgrade of ovens over the next three years.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) worked with Buchanan County and the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a performance-based grant of $1.2 million from the Virginia Investment Performance Grant (VIP), an incentive that encourages continued capital investment by existing Virginia companies.
“SunCoke’s expansion and diversification of its Buchanan County operation is great news for the county,” said Matthew A. Fields, Director of Marketing and Tourism for Buchanan County. “SunCoke has been a driving force for our local economy over the past 60 years, and this investment will ensure the company remains in operation for many years to come.”
“We commend SunCoke on the expansion and diversification of its Buchanan County operation,” said Jonathan S. Belcher, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority. “SunCoke is truly one of the region’s outstanding businesses and employers, and we are very proud to have the company in the area.”
“This investment could not have come at a better time for Buchanan County and the coalfields,” said Delegate Will Morefield. “The Jewell Coke plant is a significant economic driver for the coalfields of Virginia and Southern West Virginia with nearly 1,000,000 tons of coal coming from mining operations in those areas each year. We are delighted that SunCoke is committed to our region and the investment to diversify in the foundry coke market will help ensure the plant will be in operation for many years to come.”
“Finding ways to create and sustain jobs is my number one priority as Senator,” said Senator Travis Hackworth. “Through bi-partisan efforts, we have been able to ensure a new level of sustainability for years to come, pave a renewed future for Southwest Virginia at the forefront of foundry coke production globally, and protect over 100 jobs for our region. I am thrilled to be able to be part of this exciting announcement for our region.”