Coal will remain vital in southern West Virginia though generating alternative uses as part of a plan by Ron Hedrick, president of the Raleigh County Veterans Museum.
In 2019, Hedrick brainstormed a plan to draw an eco-friendly company, Englo Global, to Raleigh County.
On Thursday, Hedrick and county and Beckley officials will welcome Englo to their pilot factory in Raleigh County, a 5,000-square-foot building, formerly a maintenance facility for Appalachian Power, near the West Virginia University Institute of Technology Beckley campus.
Englo has teamed up with professors from George Washington University and Mississippi State University to turn coal into fertilizer. Early studies show the fertilizer is not harmful to the environment.