Gov. Justice announces coal-to-carbon research center

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice puts on a Department of Highways safety vest during his annual State of the State speech in the Capitol's House chambers in Charleston, W.Va., Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Chris Dorst/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s governor says a technology company has agreed to open a research facility in the state to look into using coal to make carbon-based products.

Gov. Jim Justice gave additional details about the agreement with Ramaco Carbon on Thursday after mentioning the research center in his State of the State speech.

“We absolutely need to continue doing all we can to harness the power of coal in every way possible and having this facility to test new ways to convert this dynamic resource is a great opportunity for all,” the Republican governor said.

Ramaco Carbon has received more than $5 million in federal grants to support its research, Justice said in a news release. The company is also developing a facility in Wyoming.

One of the projects the company is working on revolves around using coal as a precursor to manufacture carbon fiber for the automotive industry.