Clean Energy Future, LLC President Bill Siderewicz says his company has formed a team consisting of four major players from around the world to advance the continued development of Oregon’s Energy Center Project.
That includes financing for a second $900 million 960 megawatt gas-fired electricity-producing power plant. The first plant, an 800-megawatt facility, is already under construction.
The second project is expected to need approximately $900 million in financing, including $400 million in equity and $500 million debt.
“Projects of this scale and complexity require an incredible amount of coordination and planning by all the parties involved. It should be pointed out that not everyone wants OEC to succeed and reach a successful conclusion,” Siderewicz said.
Some of the major players include —
• Siemens Energy, a $100 billion market capital company, will supply over $200 million in primary equipment supplies, most of which are made in the United States. Siemens also makes medical imaging equipment. Much of the supplies will be brought to the site by rail or by barges down the Maumee River.
• Fluor Corporation, with $19 billion in yearly sales, will provide engineering, procurement and be the construction contractor. They develop oil and gas facilities, power plants, airports, and port systems for customers from around the globe, and Siderewicz expects them to interface with many Northwest Ohio contractors on this project.
• BNP Paribas, a French bank headquartered in Paris and seventh largest bank in the world, is securing the debt and equity financing. It has 189,000 employees around the world, including a “swat team” of 10 people working specifically on the Oregon project in their New York City offices.
• Siemens Financial Services, with offices in Manhattan and New Jersey and corporate headquarters in Germany, provides the power system financing, which includes a $100-125 million equity commitment toward the Oregon Energy Center.
Integrating water systems
Also involved is the City of Toledo, which will partner with Oregon to provide water to the project, which results in another benefit for both cities.
Oregon and Toledo will integrate their water systems — a partnership between the two cities that never existed before.
“So, if some kind of catastrophic system happened in Oregon, where they needed the help from Toledo, they open up a valve and water flows, and one serves the other. And, conversely, the opposite is true. If something were to happen where Toledo needs a little help, the valve opens and the water flows the other way from the City of Oregon into Toledo. So, in addition to us being a revenue source to the City of Toledo, they also are integrated physically as well as from a systems standpoint,” Siderewicz said.
“This is just one more example of how I discovered in working in Ohio, how communities, even though they have differences, also have common threads to each other.”
Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson called the proposed partnership “a good opportunity,” adding this is another example of how to use water “as an economic development tool” and provide “holistic” growth in Northwest Ohio and Toledo.
“In fact, today, you are actually proving what I’ve been saying since I became mayor and had the opportunity to travel throughout the country, and that is that we have this great asset called fresh drinking water that is probably bar-none to any other (asset) throughout the United States, and I will say that very proudly.
“And, we have been able to help, in leadership with the mayor (Mike Seferian) of Oregon and Mike Beazley, and now with this wonderful company, to really prove that with this asset we can drive development — that we can drive a better place for all of our communities to work in partnership. That’s so fitting that we use the terms ‘partnership’ and ‘collaboration’, because I truly believe that’s how we will move Northwest Ohio and be really competitive throughout this country.”
Oregon City Administrator Michael Beazley said, “It is something that we thought was best for the project and worked out well for all of us.”
One other partner will be the University of Toledo’s engineering and math departments. Siderewicz said CEF will provide summer internships for students in those departments, sending them around the world, and then bringing them back here to apply what they’ve learned. The company has already provided a full scholarship to an Oregon woman who is now a sophomore at UT.
Also attending the City of Oregon’s news conference Wednesday were representatives from the Regional Growth Partnership, the governor’s office, Senator Rob Portman’s office, the City of Toledo Department of Utilities, Lucas County, the economic development community and also Oregon businesses that Beazley said “played a central role in this.”
In addition, Oregon City Schools approved a tax incentive donation agreement with Clean Energy Future-Oregon, LLC.
Siderewicz and Beazley explained that this project did not just happen overnight.
“We’ve been studying the Oregon energy picture for about seven or eight years,” Siderewicz said. “It actually goes back to when we generated the Fremont, Ohio project back in the early 2000s and we noticed that there was a tremendous need in both Northwest Ohio as well as the northeast side of Ohio.
“We have been working on this (second plant) project since October 2015, and in getting all of our ducks in a row, we’re just about to file the formal applications in Columbus for both the air permit and the Ohio power siting board permit, which we hope will be complete in the summer of this year.”