Clean Coal Power Resources on Oct 8 announced plans for a $4.5-billion project in Illinois that includes a huge underground coal mine, a coal gasification plant and a 2,400-Mw generating facility. The facility will consume about 17-milion tons of coal per year when in commercial operation. The company proposes to produce that volume of coal at an adjacent deep mine, which would make it by far the largest underground mine in the United States. CCPR also said it made its first $250,000 lease payment to Fayette County under the terms of a 99-year lease executed in August.

The lease gives CCPR mining rights to an estimated 1.6-billion tons of reserves under 159,000 acres in Fayette County. CEO Terrell Black, a Louisville attorney, said he expects to begin the permitting process for both the mine and the plants this year, with mine construction to begin in 2003. The cogeneration plant will use integrated gasification combined cycle technology.