In May, the Lisle, Illinois-based company submitted a formal notice about the project to the Kentucky State Board on Electric Generation and Transmission Siting. The notice was required under Kentucky law because SunCoke also intends to construct an 80-megawatt cogeneration plant at the site, with the electricity sold into the PJM Interconnection market.

The so-called SunCoke Energy South Shore plant would produce 550,000 to 660,000 tons of metallurgical grade coal annually. It is expected to be operational by 2017.

According to a SunCoke spokesman, the met coal is likely to be supplied by third-party producers. SunCoke operates met coal mines in Virginia and West Virginia, but their output currently is committed to the company’s 720,000-ton-per-year Jewell Coke facility in Vansant, Virginia.

In the first quarter of 2014, SunCoke’s met coal mines produced 306,000 tons of coal, down from 349,000 tons a year earlier. Total met coal sales volumes increased, however, to 398,000 tons from 373,000 tons in the first quarter of 2013.