From: Kate McCann, Associated Press
Published September 1, 2004 12:00 AM

AEP Plans to Build "Clean-Coal" Plant

COLUMBUS , Ohio — American Electric Power (AEP) said Tuesday it plans to build at least one "clean-coal" plant by 2010 in response to environmentalist and shareholder demands to release pollution-reduction plans.


The plant, which would convert coal into a gas and pass it through pollutant-removal equipment before it is burned, was recommended by a board of directors subcommittee that was formed as part of an agreement with shareholders.


The subcommittee's report evaluates the impact of proposed federal rules for reducing emissions and recommends ways for AEP to control emissions at its coal-fired power plants.


Company officials plan to spend $3.5 billion by 2010 to comply with regulations already passed or in the process of implementation. Pending or potential emission standards could add $1.5 billion from 2010 through 2020, AEP spokeswoman Melissa McHenry said.


Those cost estimates take into account only currently regulated emissions. Two pending bills seeking to regulate carbon dioxide could cost the company up to $6.4 billion more, McHenry said.


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The "clean-coal" plant could cost up to $1.6 billion to design and build — about 20 percent more per kilowatt that a conventional coal-fired plant. No site has been chosen, said Michael Morris, AEP's chairman, president and chief executive.


The process that would be used at the Integrated Gasification Combine Cycle plant is more efficient and lowers emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide, and mercury, the company said.


AEP has about 5 million customers in 11 states: Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.


Shares in AEP rose 36 cents to close at $32.73 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.


Source: Associated Press


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