HOUSTON, July 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Reliant Energy today announced
plans to install state-of-the-art emission control systems at two Pennsylvania
power plants, a major step in the company's strategy for maximizing the long-
term value of its power generation assets while reducing air emissions.
Reliant Energy has estimated it could spend up to $625 million through 2011 on
sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and mercury controls at the
company's power plants.
The plans announced today call for the installation of a wet flue gas
desulfurization system, or scrubber, at the company's Cheswick Generating
Station in Springdale, Pa., and for funding Reliant's portion of the scrubber
installation at the Keystone Generating Station near Indiana, Pennsylvania.
Reliant jointly owns the Keystone station with six other entities and operates
the facility on behalf of the owners.
Reliant estimates that its cost for the Cheswick scrubber and its portion
of the Keystone project will be approximately $350 million. The scrubbers at
both facilities are expected to begin commercial operation in 2009. These
capital expenditures will be made over time with the majority being incurred
from 2007 to 2009.
Installation of scrubbers at these units will remove approximately 98
percent of SO2 from the stations' flue gases, reducing Reliant Energy's SO2
emissions by approximately 68,000 tons per year. The systems will also be
designed to maximize the removal of mercury.
"Reliant Energy is committed to caring for the environment and the
communities where we do business, and this decision is significant from both
perspectives," said Reliant Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Joel
Staff. "Investing in scrubbers on these units will contribute to improved air
quality in Pennsylvania while improving the economic viability of these units
for years to come. Not only is it the right thing to do for the environment,
it makes good business sense."
In addition to the installation of scrubbers at the Cheswick and Keystone
plants, the strategy includes upgrades to the existing flue gas
desulfurization systems at Reliant's Elrama and Niles plants. These upgrades
will be completed this year and are expected to increase SO2 removal
efficiency. Modifications to significantly reduce SO2 emissions from Reliant
Energy's Avon Lake facility are also being considered.
Reliant also continues to evaluate technologies that contribute to reduced
SO2 and NOx emissions. For SO2 control, the company is testing switching to
low-sulfur fuels, including Power River Basin coal. In addition, Reliant is
considering installation of selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) systems
for NOx reduction. These technologies hold promise as a mechanism for cost
effectively reducing emissions at smaller facilities.
As part of this comprehensive plan for controlling emissions, Reliant
continues its work with third-parties to host testing and development of new
emission-control technologies, including advanced sorbents for mercury
control, lime slurry injection and new duct injection technology for SO2
control, and waste coal slurry reburn for NOx control.
Reliant Energy, Inc. (NYSE: RRI) based in Houston, Texas, provides
electricity and energy services to retail and wholesale customers in the
United States. In Texas, the company provides service to approximately 1.9
million retail electricity customers, including residential, small business
and commercial, industrial, governmental and institutional customers. Reliant
also serves commercial, industrial, governmental and institutional customers
in the PJM (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland) market.
The company is one of the largest independent power producers in the
nation with approximately 16,000 megawatts of power generation capacity across
the United States. These strategically located generating assets utilize
natural gas, fuel oil and coal. For more information, visit
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Reliant Energy, Inc.
media, Pat Hammond, +1-713-497-7723, or investors, Dennis
Barber, +1-713-497-3042, both of Reliant Energy, Inc.