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Industry News

Duke Files Revised, Higher Cost Estimate for IGCC Project

LCG, May 2, 2008--Duke Energy yesterday submitted a progress report with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) regarding its 630-MW, coal-fired power plant project that will use an advanced, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology.

Duke reported a revised project cost estimate of $2.35 billion, which equates to a $365 million increase from the estimate approved by the IURC last November. Duke must justify and seek approval in a separate proceeding to recover any costs above the approved $1.985 billion.

According to Duke, the higher cost estimate results from global competition for materials and increased labor rates. "In North America the cost of building all types of power plants has risen substantially in the past year," said James L. Turner, president and chief operating officer, Duke Energy U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas.

The project will be built at Duke's existing Edwardsport Generating Station near Vincennes, Indiana and is scheduled for completion in 2012. Once the new plant is operational, the old facilities, which include coal and oil units that have a capacity of 160-MW, would be retired.

The IGCC design employed for the plant includes coal gasification. Synthetic gas created from coal is used in a gas turbine to generate electricity. The hot exhaust gas from the turbine heats water to produce steam to power a steam turbine and generate electricity a second time. The gasification process offers the potential for lower cost solutions to capture and sequester CO2, which may assist in efforts to thwart global warming.

Last November, the IURC also directed Duke to develop carbon capture and storage studies for the project, and yesterday Duke filed its plans to evaluate the site's suitability and related carbon capture and storage costs.

The project is targeted to receive over $460 million in local, state and federal tax incentives.

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