Southwestern Electric Power Co., Shreveport, La., said Aug. 9 it plans to build a $1.3-billion, advanced coal-fired powerplant in Arkansas, for operation by summer 2011.

In announcing plans for the 600-MW baseload unit on 2,800 acres north of Fulton, Ark., SWEPCO, a unit of American Electric Power, said the project would create 1,000 to 4,000 construction jobs. Construction on the "ultra-supercritical" powerplant will begin after regulators in SWEPCO's service territory of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, approve the project, perhaps as soon as April 2007, the company said.

Ultra-supercritical technology burns less coal than traditional powerplants fueled by pulverized coal and emits less pollution than existing plants using Powder River Basin coal. The plant, to be built in Hempstead County, 15 miles northeast of Texarkana, Ark., would be one of the first of its kind to go into service in the United States.

While AEP is pursuing integrated gasification combined cycle technology in eastern states, SWEPCO President and COO Nick Akins said the coal used in his region would require different IGCC technology that currently lacks sufficient performance guarantees. "As such, ultra-super critical coal generation, with its excellent lower emissions performance is the best option," he said.