Jim Stanley, President of Duke Energy Indiana, relays the status of the company’s new Edwardsport coal gasification facility.
Duke Energy’s new power plant using advanced integrated gasification combined cycle, or IGCC, technology that is being built in Edwardsport, Indiana, is an investment in the local community, the state and our future.
When local, state and community leaders offered their support for Duke Energy’s decision to move forward with the project, they did so knowing the positive impact that reliable, affordable electricity could have on our state, the local community and the people we serve. When completed in 2012, the plant will produce 10 times as much power with significantly less environmental impact than the much smaller and older plant it will replace. It will be the first major new power plant built in Indiana in more than 20 years and serve as a critical starting point to modernize the state’s aging electrical systems.
Some will say now is not the time to build an expensive new power plant. But by investing now, we can ensure our children and grandchildren will have the infrastructure they need for a better future. And by spreading out the cost of the plant over time, we can meet our future energy needs and pay for our investment without a dramatic increase in our family energy bills.
Furthermore, in these challenging economic times the impact the construction and eventual operation of the plant is having and will have on our economy is dramatic, generating good-paying, high-skilled jobs and spurring economic growth across the state.
Currently about 1,400 electrical workers, iron workers, plumbers, carpenters, laborers, and other professionals are working on the construction site. This number is expected to grow to about 2,000 this summer. And when completed, the plant will employ about 100 full-time workers with high-skilled well-paid jobs. In addition, the 1.4 million to 1.7 million tons of Indiana coal the plant will use each year will contribute to an estimated 350+ new mining and railroad jobs. And, as one of the largest construction projects in Indiana, the Edwardsport plant has generated approximately $468 million dollars through contracts with 141 Indiana businesses, such as Bowen Engineering, BMW Constructors, F.A. Wilhelm, Gribbins Insulations and Solid Platform, just to name a few.
In these economic times, when Indiana workers are hard-pressed to find work and businesses are cutting back, supporters of the project should be commended for supporting high-value construction projects like Edwardsport that have an immediate economic impact on our state and local economies and serve as a catalyst for further growth and investment in the future.
Editor’s UPDATE: Congrats to Mr. Stanley on his new position as Duke Energy’s Senior VP of power delivery for U.S. operations.