It doesn’t appear Louisiana is going to run out of power anytime soon. American Electric Power and Dow Chemical last weekannounced plans are going forward to construct a 900 MW naturalgas-fired cogeneration plant at Dow’s chemical complex inPlaquemine, LA, at the same time Calpine Corp. revealed it hasacquired the development rights from Cogentrix for the 500 MWWashington Parish Energy Center, located near Bogalusa.

AEP said it also signed a 20-year contract for an undisclosedamount to sell all of the facility’s generation to Tractebel SA’senergy marketing unit once it is online, expected in early 2003.Construction of the $325 million facility, scheduled to begin thisyear, was first announced last June. Columbus, OH-based AEP willdevelop the state-of-the-art facility and subsidiary AEP Pro Servwill assume contract responsibilities. Dow will operate thefacility, which will be fueled by AEP’s Louisiana Interstate GasPipeline. About 620 MW of baseload capacity will come from fourGeneral Electric gas turbines operating in combined cycle and 280MW of peaking capacity.

Meanwhile, site preparation is under way for the WashingtonParish facility, with construction expected to begin shortly.Calpine will manage construction and will operate the $300 millionfacility when it enters commercial operation in mid-2002. Thegenerating plant will use two General Electric Frame 7FA gascombustion turbines in combined-cycle with a single steam turbine,representing approximately 490 MW of base load capacity, with theability to produce up to 577 MW during periods of peak powerdemand. The facility will use clean natural gas in conjunction withan advanced emissions control system, and will be among thecleanest electric power resources in the State, its sponsors claim.

Rocco Canonica

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