Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

April 28, 2013

PUBLIC FORUM: Direction is the best option presented

Logansport is facing a serious problem with our current coal-fired generation plant. New EPA regulations will require millions of dollars to upgrade or shut down. The city and LMU have been exploring options to provide a solution to this looming problem.

First was a study that provided four options (the master plan). All four options would cost LMU customers, from $20 million to $100 million, not affordable for anybody here. The search continued and a team was hired to find a solution, a request for proposals was issued, with the Pyrolyzer LLC proposal coming out on top.

It exceeds the best of the master plan options. The Pyrolyzer proposal will be privately financed. The plant would produce power for Logansport from municipal solid  waste. This option has our best possible solution from the master plan included at no cost to LMU or Logansport. Equipment to be used in the new plant is current generating plant gas and steam turbines used by many utility companies across the nation and throughout the world. Modular construction will provide serviceability and ease of maintenance, without taking the entire plant offline. Backup for the Pyrolyzer process is natural gas, which can be supplied to one or all of the gas turbines as needed. Equipment life was reported to be 25 years. False! Our current turbines at LMU are nearly 60 years old and still producing the power we use in the city today. Proper maintenance will ensure long life of the power plant.

The next issue is jobs. Our current LMU (30+) employees will operate the plant with about 30 more jobs to be added to fill out the needed staff. Training will be provided by Pyrolyzer for staff. People have given examples of Mass Burn Incineration; this is not the process to be used in Logansport. Other examples have been from as far back as the 1970s. This project is far advanced from ’70s technology. Our consulting team has looked at many of the options and processes available and Pyrolyer LLC has the best option available.

The proposed plant must provide power 24 hours/365 days a year. Base load for all LMU customers. Wind and solar do not produce 24/7. It can be used as supplemental, but will not provide a base load power supply, required by LMU to service the public it provides power as it has done remarkably well for many years.

Joe Buck

City councilman, Ward 2

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