Chinese investors have visited a site east of Knox County to look at a new technology for converting coal into diesel fuel.
Freedom Energy proposes a plant just past the I-81 and I-40 split that would employ 500 people and require train-loads of coal for the process. There has been some skepticism about the potential success of the project, given the decreases in the cost of natural gas of late.
But officials say the Chinese have abundant quantities of coal and they have to import oil for diesel fuel from the Mideast. They are supposed to be interested in the new technology that Freedom Energy is developing.