Rail Spur Proposed for New Coal Gasification Plant May 14, 2007
PLAINFIELD, IND. -
Duke Energy Indiana is proposing to build a new rail spur to serve the coal gasification electric power plant Duke Energy and Vectren Energy Delivery are exploring building at Edwardsport.
The new rail spur would stretch about eight miles from the new plant to a connection point with the Indiana Southern Railroad just south of Sandborn. The rail spur would be used initially for transporting major equipment. A rail spur also would provide transportation options for fuel and plant byproducts that might help reduce the plant’s future operating costs passed on to customers.
For about half the route, the company is proposing to locate the rail spur generally along a former railroad line that once served the existing Edwardsport Generating Station. The new route would connect the plant with the Indiana Southern Railroad, which links with the Indiana Rail Road Company (part of CSX) near Beehunter.
“We’ve identified a general corridor where the rail spur could be located, but the exact route is still undefined,” said Jack Stultz, future general manager of the plant. “When it comes to mapping the route, we’re somewhat limited by the location of the former railroad and other engineering constraints, but we would like to get input to reduce any farming, environmental and community impacts wherever practical.”
Duke Energy is holding two workshops to provide information and gather input from the surrounding community. The company is inviting property owners near the proposed rail spur corridor to a May 22 workshop in Edwardsport. A second workshop on May 24 is open to the public. Both workshops are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Central Time at North Knox East Elementary and Junior High School (Edwardsport’s elementary and middle school), 200 S. Third St. in Edwardsport. At the workshops, area residents and landowners will be able to talk with Duke Energy personnel about the project.
“In addition to using the rail spur to move equipment during construction, we may also use it to transport fuel or other plant byproducts if we build the plant. We’ve not made a decision yet, however, on whether to transport coal by train or truck to the plant. It will mostly depend on the economics of train and truck transportation at the time,” Stultz said.
If the plant is approved by key regulatory agencies and a decision is made to go forward, plant construction may begin late in 2007 and rail spur construction in early 2008. Duke Energy would like to have the rail spur operational by early 2009. Construction on the rail spur would not begin, however, until regulatory approvals on the plant are received and a final decision is made to build the plant.
Duke Energy, along with Vectren Energy Delivery, is exploring replacing the Edwardsport electrical power plant with a state-of-the-art coal gasification plant. If it’s built, the new power plant would use advanced technology to convert coal into a cleaner burning gas. In addition to helping meet a steadily rising demand for electrical energy from Indiana customers, it would also employ approximately 100 people and help generate jobs in areas such as mining.
Duke Energy Corp., one of the largest electric power companies in the United States, supplies and delivers energy to approximately 3.9 million U.S. customers.
The company has nearly 37,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity in the Midwest and the Carolinas, and natural gas distribution services in Ohio and Kentucky. In addition, Duke Energy has more than 4,000 megawatts of electric generation in Latin America, and is a joint-venture partner in a U.S. real estate company.
Duke Energy’s Indiana operations provide 7,300 megawatts of safe, reliable and competitively priced electricity to more than 760,000 electric customers, making it the state’s largest electric supplier.
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.