News Release
August 14, 2003

DUKE POWER'S BELEWS CREEK STEAM STATION COMPLETES FIRST PHASE OF NATION'S LARGEST PROJECT TO REDUCE NITROGEN OXIDE EMISSIONS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Power has completed the first phase of its massive Selective Catalytic Reduction or “SCR” project at Belews Creek Steam Station that will reduce the power plants nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 85 percent. 

The project will be completed in 2004 and is the largest of its kind in the nation. It represents an investment of more than $450 million and had a peak construction work force of more than 2,000. It is the Triad region’s largest construction project and one of the largest in North Carolina over the past decade.      

“The Duke Power team is very pleased to bring Belews Creek Unit 1 back on line with the new SCR systems fully operational,” said Bill Hall, Duke Power’s executive vice president of fossil/hydro generation. “Belews Creek is one of the nation’s most efficient coal-fueled power plants and is one of the reasons our rates are 21 percent below the national average and among the lowest in the Southeast. 

The SCR project consists of two 30-story steel structures located next to the plant's two units. These structures contain honeycombed ceramic equipment that will change nitrogen oxide emissions into harmless nitrogen and water. The process is similar to that used in automotive catalytic converters to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and is a proven technology used in other power plants. What makes the Belews Creek project unique is its sheer size and engineering challenges. These have ranged from how to supply on-site parking for the massive work force to the design and construction of customized structural reinforcements that ensure the 30-story SCR structure can manage the effects of wind without affecting the reliability of power plant operations. 

The SCR project began in August 2001 and has generated thousands of construction jobs. It also required the service of the nation’s largest crane that previously was stationed at the World Trade Center immediately following the Sept. 11 attack. The 450-foot crane remains at the site and is working on the construction of unit 2’s SCR project, which is well underway and slated for completion next summer. 

The Belews Creek SCR project is part of Duke Power’s federal Clean Air Act compliance efforts that will reduce the company’s nitrogen oxide emissions 75 percent below 1998 levels by summer 2004. Duke Power will invest an additional $1.5 billion to reduce nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions far below federal limits by 2013 to comply with North Carolina’s Clean Air Plan, which was signed into law in June 2002 with the company’s full support. 

Belews Creek Steam Station has a generating capacity of 2,240 megawatts and is located in Stokes County. The plant began operation in 1974 and can serve more than 2 million homes.         

Duke Power, a business unit of Duke Energy, is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities and provides safe, reliable, competitively priced electricity to more than 2 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. Duke Power operates three nuclear generating stations, eight coal-fired stations, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units. Total system generating capability is approximately 19,900 megawatts. More information about Duke Power is available on the Internet at: www.dukepower.com.

Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses – meeting the energy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: Tom Williams
Phone: 704/373-4743
24-Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
e-mail: tcwillia@duke-energy.com