State officials have announced a new economic development project that ties in with efforts to reinvigorate eastern Kentucky’s economy in the face of declining coal jobs.
Although Alltech seems unsure at this point how many jobs the development will create, the company estimates about 45 will come as a result of an approximately $24 million initial investment in Marion Branch, a reclaimed surface mine purchased and outfitted with utility lines by the city of Pikeville.
Alltech’s new distillery, aquaculture fish farm and egg laying facilities will be the first tenants in the new site. Deirdre Lyons is director of corporate image for Alltech.
“We developed what we’re calling the Alltech Eastern Kentucky alliance, and this alliance initially has three projects, and the first is the new distillery here, which we’re calling dueling barrels distillery, which is of course a take off of the Hatfields and McCoys," Lyons said.
The state will front about $14 million worth of road and bridge improvements to the site, as well.
The development is part of the Saving Our Appalachian Region initiative founded by Gov. Steve Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers.