Pharos-Tribune

Local News

November 28, 2012

$500 million project would power city with trash

Almuina: ‘This could put Logansport on the map.’

LOGANSPORT — Logansport city officials are looking for a private entity to invest at least $500 million into turning the existing coal-fired power plant into a plant that burns pellets of residential refuse, saying the project would add jobs, use renewable energy and assure long-term energy independence for Logansport.

Utility Service Board members voted Tuesday night to publish a request for proposals to repower and expand Logansport Municipal Utilities power generation by converting the coal-fired generators into a refuse-derived-fuel power plant.

The plant would burn solid waste pellets and would achieve total system capacity of 300 megawatts, far more power than the 38 megawatts the plant currently generates.

Mayor Ted Franklin described the project as the best approach to maintain local independence for electricity generation and distribution, saying the conversion would allow the city to generate electricity at a cost of 4.5 to 5.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The proposed public-private partnership project is estimated to cost up to $590 million. The public-private financing option would have private sector firms pay all development and construction costs. LMU would operate and purchase the facilities without bonds being issued.

Presenters before the board Tuesday evening described the power plant’s future as bleak, if nothing is changed.

LMU has lost nearly $4 million in the past three years, board members noted. None of the four alternative plans laid out this summer — including repowering existing generators, repowering natural boilers and converting boilers to natural gas — would allow the utility to get back in the black without base electric rates rising at least 95 percent, according to John Skomp of Crowe Horwath LLP, which prepared an analysis of the four alternatives.

“None of those are a silver bullet to solve your problems,” Skomp said.

A study team headed by consulting firm William-Lynn-James, and including seven experts in the energy field, outlined the proposal to convert the power plant to burn trash pellets.

Bernie Paul, president of B Paul Consulting LLC, said several of the 50 companies interested in the city’s proposed renewable fuel project are well-known names in power.

“I don’t know where the money will come from, but there is a lot of interest where companies don’t seem to be scared of the cost,” Paul said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see interesting partnerships formed.”

The LMU plant currently has 30 workers and the new plant would add an additional 30 jobs, according to Paul Hartman, LMU superintendent.

Franklin added that in the “big picture,” he expects that the project, if carried out, would add 160 jobs.

No location has been selected yet, said project manager Alvaro Almuina, director of EllSo Consulting Inc., but the site would have to span at least 100 acres and be accessible by interstate highway.

Almuina said there would be 10 pellet machines total. The pellets would come out in increments of three inches by one inch.

“Indiana doesn’t have a lot of renewable options,” Almuina said. “This could put Logansport on the map.”

Franklin said the project would also lower the city’s trash disposal costs. About $900,000 is spent every year getting rid of trash, he said.

The Logansport Municipal Utilities repower and expansion study team will host a public information session at 7 p.m. today to discuss the possible construction of a power plant fired by refuse-derived fuel.

“The meeting Wednesday evening is the first opportunity for the public to hear one-on-one about the project,” Franklin said. “We did a lot of work behind the scenes. Now we want to do work out in the public.”

If implemented, the first phase of repowering the existing plant would be completed no later than 2016. Construction of the new power plant would likely be completed in 2016-2017.

LMU will accept proposals until Jan. 11.

Amie Sites is a staff reporter for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5150 or amie.sites@pharostribune.com.

WANT TO GO?

Who: Logansport Municipal Utilities repower and expansion study team

What: Public information session

Where: City council chambers, City Building, 601 E. Broadway

When: 7 to 9 p.m. today

Why: To review information and answer questions about the city’s proposal to form a public-private partnership to convert the coal-fired power plant to a plant run on refuse-derived fuel.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Police Blotter: Aug. 21, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    August 21, 2014

  • Firefighters investigate smoke downtown Firefighters investigate smoke smell downtown

    Firefighters with the Logansport Fire Department responded to a call of a smell of smoke in a downtown office building.

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT082114 Opera House Now.jpg Dreaming the old dreams over DELPHI — “To dream the old dreams over is a luxury divine.”That line from the late local poet James Whitcomb Riley was mentioned several times Wednesday at a celebration in Delphi. Those who quoted the line said it was a fitting description for one o

    August 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Schools react to report on bullying The Indiana Department of Education released the first-ever statewide data on school bullying three weeks ago, and a local school found out its data was not entirely accurate.Columbia Middle School — the only school in the Logansport Community School

    August 21, 2014

  • Logansport Learning Academy now open

    The city’s only current licensed early childcare center opened earlier this week.Logansport Learning Academy has been in the works since summer 2013 and finally opened its doors Monday with 12 kids attending and 30 signed up, according to owner David T

    August 21, 2014

  • Police Blotter: Aug. 20, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    August 20, 2014

  • Logansport City Council prepares 2015 budget Logansport City Council members started meeting with department heads earlier this week to discuss proposed expenses as they shape the budget for next year.Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin prefaced the discussion Monday night by saying the budget as it

    August 20, 2014

  • Staples to close by Sept. 20 Logansport's Staples office supply store is closing Sept. 20, a company spokesperson said. It's the latest in a slew of closings the company announced in March it would pursue, stating its goal was to shutter about 225 stores, more than 10 percent of

    August 20, 2014

  • NWS-PT082014 Earthquake4.jpg Shake, rattle and roll: Students learn earthquake safety with simulator WALTON — Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School students experienced what three levels of earthquakes feel like during the school day Tuesday.The Quake Cottage, a mobile earthquake simulator, is run in partnership with the Indiana Department of Homeland Secu

    August 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • Grissom Fire Department 04 [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Military fire power: Grissom FD critical to regional safety GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE — There are six people trapped inside a burning airplane. You and your partner have 10 minutes to rescue them.And you have to do it blind, groping and crawling in total darkness, burdened down with fire gear and an oxygen tan

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
eEdition