GOV. EASLEY JOINS DUKE POWER IN BREAKING GROUND ON MARSHALL STEAM STATION SULFUR DIOXIDE ''SCRUBBER'' - Duke Energy

News Release
Feb. 16, 2004

GOV. EASLEY JOINS DUKE POWER IN BREAKING GROUND ON MARSHALL STEAM STATION SULFUR DIOXIDE ''SCRUBBER''

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Gov. Mike Easley joined leaders from Duke Power, Catawba County and the North Carolina Legislature today to break ground on a project that will reduce by approximately 90 percent the sulfur dioxide emissions at Duke Power’s Marshall Steam Station.

The $400 million project is the first of a series of environmental retrofits Duke Power is undertaking on its coal-fired power plants in North Carolina stemming from the passage of the state’s landmark 2002 clean air legislation.

“This is a great day for air quality, for Catawba County and for Duke Power and is a major step in our $1.5 billion program to reduce the emissions of our coal-fired power plants far below federal limits,” said Ruth Shaw, Duke Power’s president. “Marshall Steam Station has ranked as one of the nation’s most efficient power plants since it came on line in 1965 and is one of the primary reasons our rates are among the lowest in the Southeast and 20 percent below the national average. This is an excellent investment in Marshall and will ensure it continues to serve our customers with competitively priced electricity well into the 21st century.”

North Carolina ’s clean air legislation received near unanimous support from North Carolina ’s General Assembly and environmental organizations and was fully supported by Gov. Easley and Duke Power. The plan also freezes Duke Power’s North Carolina  rates, which are at 1986 levels, through the end of 2007. 

The series of environmental retrofits will deploy more capital into North Carolina ’s economy over the next decade than perhaps any other project. Duke Power’s nitrogen oxide emissions will be reduced by more than 33 percent by 2007 and sulfur dioxide emissions will be reduced by more than 70 percent by 2013 – far below federal standards. These reductions are in addition to the company’s work to comply with the federal Clean Air Act that has dramatically reduced nitrogen oxide emissions. 

North Carolina has among the most aggressive clean air policies in the nation and it is largely because of the hard work and ingenuity of companies like Duke Power,” said Gov. Easley. “Our landmark 2002 clean air legislation gives our children and grandchildren the chance to enjoy the same beautiful heritage our generation enjoyed. These projects also create hundreds of jobs and will be a tremendous boost to our economy.”

The scrubber removes sulfur dioxide by injecting a mixture of limestone and water into the emissions stream after it leaves the boilers. The first phase of the project will be completed by the fall of 2006 and the entire project will be on line by the summer of 2007.

Belews Creek Steam Station in Stokes County, Cliffside Steam Station Unit No. 5 in Rutherford County and Allen Steam Station in Gaston County will have sulfur dioxide scrubbers installed and operational by 2013. These plants and Duke Power’s smaller coal-fueled power plants in North Carolina, located in Eden, Salisbury and north of Charlotte, will also have advanced technology installed to further reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. 

Duke Power’s coal-fired power plants have been ranked among the nation’s most efficient for more than 30 years, which reduces fuel costs and keeps emissions as low as possible. 

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