Little power house on the prairie

Bechtel Power has enabled Prairie State Energy Campus to enter its final stage of project development under its $2.9bn contract to provide engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) for the power plant.

As part of an agreement with the Southwestern Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council, Bechtel began foundation work for the Prairie State coal-fuelled power plant in May, and will begin full construction in the autumn.

The 1,600 megawatt plant being developed in Southern Illinois, is claimed to be one of the cleanest power plants in the US because it will produce only a fifth of the regulated emission levels of existing US coal plants.

‘Prairie State represents the next generation of clean electricity from coal, delivering low-cost energy to partners serving four states and nearly 1.7 million families,’ said Raj G Rao, CEO and president of one of Prairie State’s partners, Indiana Municipal Power Agency.

Babcock & Wilcox will provide Prairie State’s boiler system, the turbines will be supplied by Toshiba, and Siemens Power Generation will supply the emission controls.

The plant is scheduled for completion in 2011. The construction stage is expected to create 2,000 skilled jobs, and the finished plant will create at least 450 permanent jobs.

Other Prairie State partners include Kentucky Municipal Power Agency and Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission.