US, West Germany, Japan join in synthetic fuel plan

The United States, West Germany, and Japan signed agreements Thursday to fund a $1.4 billion project in West Virginia to convert high-sulfur coal into synthetic liquid fuels. When completed in 1984, the White House said, the plant will turn 6,000 tons of high-sulfur coal a day into the equivalent of 20,000 barrels of oil suitable for manufacturing gasoline, home heating oil, or boiler fuel.

The White House statement said West Germany and Japan will each pay 25 percent of the costs of the project. Gulf Oil will joint Ruhrkohle AG and VEBA, German industrial firms, and a group of Japanese companies represented by Mitsuit in providing up to $100 million. The Energy Department will fund the remaining costs and research.

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