Receipt of a state air permit clears the way for a construction start on a plant in Decatur, Ill., that will convert high-sulfur Illinois coal to pipeline-quality natural gas. Secure Energy Inc., St. Louis, is negotiating with a contractor for the $250-million plant and expects to start construction within three to four months, says Lars Scott, Secure Energy’s president. The plant’s proprietary technology will be similar to the Great Plains Coal Gasification Plant in Beulah, N.D. “The Decatur plant will serve as Secure Energy’s reference plant that we intend to replicate in similar sites,” Scott says.