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AEP SWEPCO Receives Louisiana Commission Approval To Build 600-MW Coal-Fueled Plant

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by Staff Writers
Shreveport LA (SPX) Mar 26, 2008
The Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) has approved a request by Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), a unit of American Electric Power, to construct a 600-megawatt coal-fueled power plant in Hempstead County in southwest Arkansas. The five-member Commission unanimously approved the request for certification on March 19.

"We are very pleased that the Louisiana Commission has recognized the importance of this plant for meeting the future needs of our Louisiana customers," said Venita McCellon-Allen, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer.

"We have now received approvals from two of the three states we serve, with the Louisiana decision following the Arkansas Public Service Commission's approval of the plant. Our request is pending before the Public Utility Commission of Texas, where we hope our Texas customers can join Arkansas and Louisiana in the long-term benefits of reliable and affordable electricity from the proposed John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant."

As part of the Louisiana approval, SWEPCO will prepare and submit a study identifying the potential for implementing cost-effective energy efficiency and load management programs for the company's Louisiana customers. Also, SWEPCO will work with an independent monitor to track construction of the proposed plant for the LPSC.

SWEPCO is awaiting an air permit from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality before construction of the power generation facilities can begin. "We continue to work with ADEQ and hope to have the air permit by summer of this year," said McCellon-Allen.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission approved SWEPCO's request on Nov. 21, 2007, and declined a request by certain intervenors in the case for rehearing on Dec. 31, 2007. Intervenors have since appealed the case to the Arkansas Court of Appeals, where it is pending.

The estimated cost of the plant is approximately $1.34 billion with SWEPCO investing 73 percent of the total. SWEPCO will own 440 megawatts of the plant's capacity. Construction will take approximately 48 months, with an expected commercial operation date in late summer 2012.

The plant will use "ultra-supercritical" advanced coal combustion technology and will be one of the first plants of its type to go into operation in the United States. The plant will use low-sulfur coal and will include state-of-the-art emission control technologies, including a design that allows for the retrofit of carbon dioxide controls.

The baseload coal-fueled plant is part of SWEPCO's previously announced plans to meet short-term and long-term energy needs of its customers. The company has completed a 340-megawatt natural gas-fueled peaking plant at Tontitown in Northwest Arkansas. Also, the company plans to build a 500- megawatt, combined-cycle natural gas-fueled plant at its existing Arsenal Hill Power Plant in Shreveport, La.

"The combination of coal-fueled baseload generation and natural-gas fueled peaking and intermediate facilities will allow SWEPCO to continue the strategic fuel mix that has served our customers well for decades," McCellon- Allen said. "Coal is an abundant American fuel that must remain an integral part of this nation's generation mix."

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SES And YIMA Establish Project Office At Planned Coal Gasification To Chemicals Plant Site
Houston TX (SPX) Mar 25, 2008
Synthesis Energy Systems and YIMA Coal Industry Group have announced the establishment of the joint project office responsible for developing their planned integrated coal gasification to transportation fuels and chemical intermediates plant (the "Plant") in Henan Province, China. SES and YIMA have jointly funded the project office and have assigned a team of experienced managers to oversee the project's development.

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