With hiring of contractors, Coleto Creek Unit 2 expansion inches closer

June 14, 2010 at 1:14 a.m.

Power company managers announced Monday the selection of contractors for the $1.4 billion Goliad coal plant expansion.

The announcement puts into motion the last stages of work before ground breaks late next year on the Coleto Creek Unit 2.

International Power and the South Texas Electric Cooperative hired for the work a consortium of firms: Burns and McDonnell Engineering Company, Zachry Industrial and Mitsubishi Power Systems America.

The consortium will design the expanded power plant, procure needed equipment and services, as well as perform construction work.

"We're very excited about taking another step forward in this project and encouraging economic development throughout the area," said International Power's Michael Fields, director of the expansion.

Coleto Creek 2, the second unit at Coleto Creek Power Station, will be a 650-megawatt electric generating unit.

The plant was built in the early 1980s to one day expand to two units. Organizers began talks in 2007 to expand and about three years later - in April - received all needed environmental permits.

The South Texas Electric Cooperative is part owner of the project.

"This $1.4 billion expansion project is an exciting opportunity that will bring many benefits to the fast-growing South Texas region, including creating jobs and generating additional power to fuel economic growth," said Mike Packard, the cooperative's general manager.

According to Fields and Packard, the expansion will:

Add more than $100 million in property taxes during the next 10 years, including $93 million to the Goliad School District.

Create 1,000 jobs that pay $200 million during the five-year construction period.

Create 72 permanent jobs that will pay $30 million during the first decade of operation.

The construction team will soon establish an employment office to recruit local workers for the project.

During the next six to eight months, managers will finalize engineering plans and secure materials prices, Fields said.

"The community is looking forward to the addition of the long-awaited second unit at Coleto Creek," said Harold Gleinser, Goliad County judge. "The economic development it will drive in the area will benefit both residents and businesses in the local community."



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