The North America Project Development, LLC, has moved up the timeline to build a new power plant in Oregon to next summer.
“They have moved up the groundbreaking to June, 2013,” Administrator Mike Beazley said at a committee of the whole meeting on Dec. 3. The groundbreaking had previously been planned for October, 2013.
Oregon officials are pleased that plans are apparently moving forward without a glitch.
“There seems to be broad community based support for the project,” said Beazley.
He was also happy that the company was willing to publish the timeline to build the 800 megawatts (MW) gas fired combined cycle plant.
Beazley has been in almost daily contact with company officials to discuss the $800 million project, he said.
“I did have communication with the leadership team again today, making it almost every day, because there are so many things in the air on it. But they feel very good on their timeline,” he said.
“Among the challenges, the industrial sector in Oregon is relatively pinched for natural gas supply. That’s not going to be a problem after this plant. The pipeline north to the industrial area will help ensure we can meet the service needs of other industrial customers as we go along. We’re working on that together. That’s good news for us,” said Beazley
Known as the Oregon Clean Energy (OCE) project, the power plant would convert clean natural gas to electricity. The technology and environmental controls displace power from aging/closing regional coal plants. The plant will produce 50 percent less carbon dioxide per kilowatt hour (kwh) of electricity versus coal combustion. There will be no need to stockpile coal or coal ash in the region.
Local labor will spend up to 1,100,000 worker hours, over a 26-30 month period, to build the facility.
Plans call for the plant, which will provide electricity for up to 500,000 homes, to be constructed just south of the BP Husky Refinery, between Wynn and Lallendorf roads.
The plant is expected to operate 70 percent of the time and add between 25-27 new full-time jobs in Oregon.
Oregon officials have been talking to North America Project Development, LLC officials about the project for over a year.
“Just to give you an idea of the magnitude of this,” said Mayor Mike Seferian, “they came to us just over a year ago. For a project that’s going to be close to a billion dollars, to break ground in virtually less than two years from the point of it just being a concept is pretty amazing. It’s more amazing they chose us as the location of that project to move that quickly along. It’s pretty cool.”
Councilman James Seaman, who attended a public forum on the power plant in council chambers last week, said city and company officials were upbeat about the project.
“There was a lot of enthusiasm,” said Seaman, who is also chairman of the Finance Committee. The project’s advisors, including ARCADIS, a Toledo/Columbus permitting expert, were also at the meeting, he added.
“There were not a lot of residents involved, other than some of the people who work for some of these companies who happen to live in Oregon,” said Seaman. “But it was very positive. Things are moving along very well, as far as I can see.”
The city had announced in September that the project would be built in Oregon.