Alliant Energy‘s Iowa utility has accepted a proposed decision and order issued by the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) for the 600 MW Marshalltown Generating Station (MGS). Assuming regulatory approval, the natural gas-fired plant would be built in central Iowa beginning next year with operations expected to begin in 2017. The IUB approved construction of the plant and included a cost cap of $920 million, and allowed Iowa Power and Light (IPL) to recover in rates the actual cost of the facility. The IUB approved pipeline construction to deliver natural gas to the facility. Construction of the combined-cycle plant is part of IPL’s long-term energy resources strategy, which was unveiled in August 2012. Alliant said earlier this month it is conducting a feasibility study of resource options to address future customer energy and capacity needs in Wisconsin; options include conversion of an existing gas-fired facility from simple-cycle to combined cycle or the construction of a new facility. Alliant’s Wisconsin Power and Light has said it may replace 270 MW of coal-fired electric generation with natural gas-fired units (see Daily GPI, April 24).

Enterprise Products Partners LP‘s eighth natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionator at its Mont Belvieu, TX, complex is now operational. The new unit has the capability to fractionate up to 85,000 b/d and increases Enterprise’s NGL fractionation capacity at Mont Belvieu to 655,000 b/d. The fractionator will accommodate increasing NGL production from domestic shale plays, including the Eagle Ford in South Texas and other basins in the Rocky Mountain and Midcontinent regions. Rising NGL production from the shale plays continues to provide a low-cost feedstock advantage for the global petrochemical industry, which currently favors natural gas-derived feedstocks over more expensive crude oil-based derivatives. The partnership’s seventh Mont Belvieu fractionator entered service about two months ago. Fractionators seven and eight were constructed as part of a joint venture with Western Gas Partners LP, an affiliate of Anadarko Petroleum Corp.