The market for developing power- generation facilities in the United States remains weak in mid-2010 as utilities, faced with lagging demand for electricity, continue to put off plans for new plants. Photo: Duke Energy Although the number of coal plants being built is heading down, Duke Energy’s 630-MW integrated gasification/combined-cycle plant in Edwardsport, Ind., is going forward. Related Links: View More on Top 500 Sourcebook 2010 View Complete Top 500 Sourcebook 2010 with Data and Analysis Not all the news is bad, though. Engineering and construction executives say the need for new generating capacity will grow as the economy rebounds
Amid political and environmental conflicts over Texas air quality, International Power announced on June 14 a long-awaited powerplant expansion in south Texas. Barring intercession by the courts, the Coleto Creek Unit Two project is expected to ramp up next year, creating more than 1,000 construction jobs by 2015, when it is scheduled to come online. Rendering: International Power To some, the Coleto powerplant means more power and jobs; however, to others—including the Lone Star chapter of the Sierra Club—it just means more dirty air. The $1.4-billion expansion project will add a 650-MW coal-burning powerplant to International Power’s existing Coleto Unit
Brazil has announced 478 sustainable energy projects it will put up for bid later this year that, if approved and completed, will add more than 14,500 MW to the country’s electricity production capability, according to �Brazil’s Energy Research Corp. The projects, which would be scheduled for completion by 2013, include 399 wind farms in the northeast section of the country, 61 biomass plants and 18 small hydroelectric projects that would not require reservoir construction.
The U.S. Energy Dept. gave a boost to new alternative-energy projects on June 10 by announcing a $102-million conditional loan guarantee for a 22-MW geothermal plant in Oregon, the first for that technology. It also agreed to provide $663 million in grants for three other projects to test the capture and storage of CO2 from industrial sources. The Neal Hot Springs project in eastern Oregon, being developed by Boise-based US Geothermal Inc., would use advanced geothermal technology that is more efficient and can exploit lower-temperature underground heat sources, the company says. It estimates the total project cost at $119 million
Nigeria’s state-run oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., signed a memorandum of understanding in June with the China State Construction Engineering Corp. Ltd. to create three oil refineries and a petrochemical plant. Each refinery in the $23.8-billion deal would have a production capacity of 250,000 barrels per day, according to Xinhua, China’s official news agency. A consortium of Chinese banks, including China’s Export and Credit Insurance Corp. and China’s Export-Import Bank, is expected to provide funding. The loans would be repaid from the refinery production stream, with the Chinese managing the refineries until loans are repaid. Despite being the
Last month, more than 1,100 lb of strategically placed explosives brought down the 24,000-ton, 455-ft-tall cooling tower at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Savannah River site in Aiken, S.C., the second largest such structure to be imploded, says the firm. “The implosion surpassed everyone’s expectations,” says Doug Loizeaux, vice president of Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI), Phoenix, Md. The firm was the explosives preparation and performance subcontractor to American Demolition and Nuclear Decommissioning, Grand Island, N.Y., which received the approximately $4-million contract to implode the former nuclear-site cooling tower and remove debris. The latter task will be handled by LVI Services
In an otherwise troubled time for new coal-fired projects, the Mississippi Public Service Commission has approved Gulfport, Miss.-based Mississippi Power�s plans to build a new 582-MW integrated gasification/combined-cycle plant in Kemper County�but with a $2.88-billion cost cap. Photo: Southern Cos. Regulators set a $2.88-billion construction cap�after an initial $2.4-billion limit�on Mississippi Power�s planned 582-MW plant. The utility owner had asked for $3.2 billion. Mississippi Power plans to complete the Kemper project as soon as 2014, said utility spokeswoman Cindy Duvall. The prime construction contractor will be selected soon, with project construction to be managed by Southern Co. Engineering and Construction
A regional economic development corporation in Ohio seeks to install the first freshwater offshore wind turbines in the U.S., in the Great Lakes. Cleveland-based Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo) announced May 24 a long-term partnership agreement with General Electric Co. to supply turbines for LEEDCo’s first 20-MW wind farm in Lake Erie near Cleveland, set to operate in 2012. A 1,000-MW wind farm in the lake is planned for about 2020. LEEDCo has received three responses to a request for proposals for a developer. It expects to announce that partner this month, says Treasurer Richard Stuebi.
The Dept. of Energy has awarded Paris-based Areva Corp. a $2-billion conditional loan guarantee for a greenfield uranium-enrichment plant in Idaho Falls, Idaho—one of the plants needed to help supply the U.S. market with enriched uranium for nuclear powerplants. Photo: Areva Corp. Idaho Falls Facility would cover 400 acres and cost $3.3 billion. The DOE says it has an additional $2 billion for a loan guarantee to support another uranium-enrichment plant, a guarantee for which Bethesda, Md.-based USEC Inc. has said it will re-apply later this year. Areva expects to award an engineering, procurement and construction contract for the 400-acre,
Delays in developing large power projects in Florida are bad news for contractors in a state already hurt by sharp construction downturns, says the Greater Florida Chapter of Associated General Contractors president. Photo: Florida Power and Light power plans FP&L says Riviera gas plant will proceed on schedule, but nuclear units face delays. Florida’s biggest utilities, Juno Beach-based Florida Power & Light (FP&L) and Progress Energy Florida, “stopped work on everything but the essentials” after the state Public Service Commission (PSC) in January rejected most of the big rate increases the utilities had sought, said Richard Marshall, who also is