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Industry News

SWEPCO to Proceed with Arkansas Coal Project

LCG, June 25, 2010--Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), a unit of American Electric Power (AEP), announced yesterday that construction of the John W. Turk, Jr. Power Plant will proceed. The Arkansas Supreme Court recently confirmed its May 13 decision that reversed the Arkansas Public Service Commission's (ASPC's) 2007 approval of the 600-MW, coal-fired

With the court's reversal, SWEPCO no longer has a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (CECPN) to serve the its Arkansas retail customers, and SWEPCO will now pursue selling the power designated to Arkansas retail customers into other markets.
SWEPCO owns 440 MW of the 600-MW capacity, and approximately 88 MW was allocated for SWEPCO's retail customers in Arkansas.

AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer stated, "This decision means we will not be able to use electricity supplied by the Turk plant to serve SWEPCO's retail customers in Arkansas, as was originally planned in this important project. But the Turk Plant will also serve SWEPCO's retail customers in Louisiana and Texas, where the plant has received regulatory approval. We will continue construction in order to fulfill our obligations in Louisiana and Texas in the most cost-effective manner. We will secure other markets for the 88 megawatts of Turk Plant capacity that would have served our Arkansas retail customers."

Construction of the plant was also approved by the Louisiana Public Service Commission and Public Utility Commission of Texas in March 2008 and July 2008, respectively, to serve SWEPCO's Louisiana and Texas customers.

The project is located in Hempstead County, Arkansas. Construction began shortly after the air permit was received from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality in November 2008. Earlier this month, SWEPCO's projected completion date for the project was October 2012.

The estimated cost of the ultra-supercritical, advanced coal project is $1.7 billion. SWEPCO stated that approximately $1.01 billion had been spent on the project, including $786 million by SWEPCO for its 73 percent share of the plant, as of May, 31, 2010. Furthermore, SWEPCO and the joint owners have an additional $436 million in contractual commitments for the plant.

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