East Texas 50-MW biomass plant on track

A 50-MW biomass power plant that the East Texas Electric Cooperative (ETEC) has planned to help replace expiring wholeseale power contracts is proceeding on schedule.

The ETEC Woodville Project is a 49.9 MW biomass power plant fueled by chipped, un-merchantable timber processed within a mile of the site.

Construction on the plant started in late June and the project is progressing on schedule, an ETEC spokesperson said. The plant has a target date of the end of 2014 to go online.

The plant will increase the renewable energy component of the cooperative and improve reliability. ETEC also needs to acquire 90 MW of generation in 2015 to replace wholesale power agreements that are expiring.

Construction was approved when a Finding of No Significant Impact under the terms of the National Environmental Policy Act was issued in April by the Rural Utilities Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 “In addition to bringing reliable, renewable power generation closer to our Cooperative members, this new facility will improve the availability of power following major outages such as those caused recently by Hurricanes Rita and Ike,” ETEC says.

Argan Inc. (NYSE: AGX) announced earlier this year that its wholly owned subsidiary Gemma Power Systems (GPS) has the contract to design and build the plant.

The plant features a Shin Nippon steam turbine generator and a Riley Power advanced stoker boiler with integrated air quality control system (AQCS). The AQCS features Riley’s patented Multi-Pollutant Catalytic Reactor (MPCR) for low NOx, CO and VOC emissions control. The plant fuel handling system consists of two truck tippers, fuel hoggers, 30-day storage, two under pile re-claimers, two plant feed conveyers and two portable fuel hoppers.