Longview Power wins approval for contract covering power plant fix

With a March 16 confirmation hearing coming up on its reorganization plan, Longview Power LLC won a Feb. 19 approval from its bankruptcy court of a contract for needed repairs on its 700-MW (net), coal-fired power plant in northern West Virginia.

The company has worked out settlements with three contractors that halped it build the power plant late last decade, which should clear the way for a quick reorgnization approval. Longview has told the court that operational problems due to construction flaws were major reasons it had to seek bankruptcy protection.

The contract approved on Feb. 19 at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware covers repairs on the plant’s balky fabric filter pollution control system, which when it isn’t working properly forces Longview to back down the plant’s capacity. Southern Environmental Inc. and FLSmidth‘s North American Air Control Business have teamed up to perform this work. Attached to the brief Feb. 19 court order is a complete contract package, including details and diagrams of the work to be performed.

“As an integral part of the Debtors’ energy generation activities, Longview’s Power Facility utilizes a pulse jet fabric filter (or ‘baghouse’) (the ‘Fabric Filter’), an air pollution control device required by applicable environmental regulations which removes particulates out of air or gas released from the Power Facility’s combustion process,” said the Feb. 6 Longview motion for approval of this contract. “Due to its size, the Fabric Filter has repeatedly experienced elevated pressure loss, which has led to, among other things, repeated cleaning, decreased bag life, and loss of station electrical generation capacity. Because the Fabric Filter suffers high pressure loss, even with high-frequency cleaning, Longview is often forced to ‘de-rate’ the Power Facility (i.e., operate at a less-than-maximum capacity), which causes the Debtors to lose several generating opportunities and, potentially, incur penalties if they are not operating at required levels.”

The court on Feb. 19, in a separate order, approved settlements with power plant contractors Amec Foster Wheeler North America and Haldor Topsoe.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.