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Moundsville power project gets air permit

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — The $615 million Moundsville Power natural gas electricity plant is one step closer to reality now that the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has granted an air quality permit.

Moundsville Power managing partner Andrew Dorn said his group is waiting for the West Virginia Public Service Commission to issue the site certificate for the 37.5-acre site along the Ohio River. Dorn said the plant will utilize more than $100 million worth of natural gas each year to generate 549-megawatts of electricity.

“We still plan to begin construction next fall,” Dorn said. “We can have most of it up and running in 2017.”

According to the DEP legal notice, the natural gas power plant is authorized to emit certain levels of pollutants each year, although DEP Engineer Steven Pursley said actual emissions are often lower than the allowable amount.

Among the annual emissions are 145.3 tons of nitrogen oxide, 209.4 tons of carbon monoxide, 74.8 tons of volatile organic compounds and 3.1 tons of sulfuric acid mist.

“Moundsville Power’s proposed construction of a natural gas fired combined-cycle electric generation facility should meet the emission limitations and conditions,” Pursley writes in the document issuing the air quality permit.

Dorn said no problems arose during the air quality permit process.

“We are very pleased. The DEP was very good to work with,” Dorn said. “That process was very smooth.”

Located south of Moundsville on property currently owned by Honeywell between the Williams Energy fractionation natural gas processing plant and the Moundsville Country Club, the Moundsville Power development area once housed the Olin Chemical and Allied Chemical plants.

Part of that site is classified as a Superfund site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which the organization defines as an “abandoned place where hazardous waste is located.”

EPA records show that Honeywell has been cleaning up the site for several years.

At the entrance to the site, one finds a sign representing a partnership between Honeywell and CH2M Hill.

This is the firm with whom Moundsville Power officials are contracting to construct the power plant.

Dorn has said the project will create 400 construction jobs and 30 full-time jobs.

He said the plant will be a combined-cycle facility, which has natural gas run one of the plant’s turbines, while the exhaust heat from this process drives an additional steam turbine.

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