News Release
February 03, 2004

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

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Power has completed the selective catalytic reduction or “SCR” project at Belews Creek Steam Station that will enable the plant to reduce its nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 80 percent. The project represents an investment of more than $450 million and had a peak construction work force of more than 2,000. It was the Triad region’s largest construction project and one of the largest in North Carolina over the past decade.      

“Our Belews Creek power plant has been one of the workhorses of the Duke Power system for almost 30 years and with the completion of the SCR project and other plant upgrades, the plant will be cleaner than ever,” said Bill Hall, Duke Power’s executive vice president of fossil-hydro operations. “Belews Creek is one of the nation’s most efficient coal-fueled power plants and is one of the reasons our rates are 20 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. The SCR project began in the fall of 2000.  

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 the summer of 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. 

The reductions in sulfur dioxide emissions, the majority of the $1.5 billion investment, will be accomplished by using “scrubbers” at Duke Power’s Marshall Steam Station in Catawba County, Belews Creek Steam Station in Stokes County, Cliffside Steam Station Unit 5 in Rutherford County and Allen Steam Station in Gaston County. These plants and Duke Power’s smaller coal-fueled power plants in North Carolina, located in Eden, Salisbury and north of Charlotte, are expected to also have advanced technology installed to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. 

Belews Creek Steam Station has a generating capacity of 2,240 megawatts and is located in Stokes County, N.C. 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 and value-added products and services to more than 2 million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. In 2004, Duke Power celebrates 100 years of service. The company 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 energy company with a portfolio of natural gas and electric businesses, both regulated and unregulated, and an affiliated real estate company. Duke Energy supplies, delivers and processes energy for customers in North America and selected international markets. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy 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