Last week, Pike County received its first repayment on the controversial $400,000 loan it made four years ago in 2014 to RCL Chemical. RCL Chemical is a proposed plant of which its aim is to convert natural gas into various liquid products, the company is also promising hundreds of potential jobs for Eastern Kentucky.
However, the money for the payment was raised through some very unique means; cryptocurrency. As we all know, cryptocurrency is an industry which has brought about attention and close examination from the Exchange Commission and the U.S securities.
In May this year, a New York based company, dealing with cryptocurrency, agreed to secure more than $300 million to fund the RCL Chemical plant and the proposition of converting natural gases into liquids. Y2X Infrastructure was founded under a month ago and classes itself as a “blockchain centric company” which means it uses the cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, to fund it’s projects.
According to the RCL chairman and CEO, William Johnson, the first payment on the RCL Chemicals loan came around from a deal with Y2X.
When the project started in 2014, the representatives of RCL Chemical proposed building an industrial plant in Pike County which could convert natural gases into base oils, special lubricants, fuels and synthetic waxes.
In August of that year, the county agreed to bring about the aforementioned loan of $400,000 to RCL Chemical to give the project a kick start and help expand the provinces sluggish economy.
Two years later in 2016, RCL decided to move its operation to it’s bordering Floyd County due to the lack of sufficient infrastructure at the site.
Pike County’s deputy judge executive Herbie Deskins said, that this move caused split between RCL and Pike County and the Pike and Floyd provinces which delayed the project even more.
Adding to their issues regarding the move, officials were anxious about the financial side of the project and what would happen to the hundreds of thousands of dollars is the project collapsed.
Later down the line, the Pike County Fiscal Court voted to file a lawsuit again RCL Chemicals but they never acted on the said vote.
“If a lawsuit had been filed when they first wanted to, it would’ve bankrupted the project.”
Last month, RCL Chemicals had secured the $325 million investment deal with Y2X with Pike County and Floyd praising the news saying how the plant will most likely provide hundreds of jobs in the area considering the drop in coal employment from over 13,500 in 2011 to approximately 4,000 last year.
According to Floyd County Judge, Ben Hale, “It could change the face of our coal economy.”