Demolition of coal-fired power plant's exhaust stack resumes

Demolition work resumed on one of the two original 800-foot exhaust stacks at DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE)'s 3,200 MW Monroe coal-fired power plant in Michigan. The original stacks date to the early 1970s and are being replaced by new 580-foot stacks built to support the operation of new flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems or scrubbers. The new stacks are necessary to accommodate the moisture that is added to the exhaust by the emissions reduction process.

The current schedule calls for demolition of the Unit 1 stack to be complete in October. The original Unit 2 stack will be taken out of service in 2014, when all four generating units will be operating with scrubbers. Kansas City-based Pullman Power is performing the stack demolition.

Construction of the FGD systems for units 1 and 2 is about 50 percent complete and on schedule to be in operation by mid-2014. In addition, construction of a selective catalytic reduction system (SCR) is underway on Unit 2 and will be complete by 2014. The plant's other three units already have SCRs.

Work was halted after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sued DTE in August 2010 alleging that the utility replaced two major boiler components in Unit 2 in March 2010 without obtaining necessary approvals required under the Clean Air Act.

The Monroe Power Plant is the first coal-fired power plant in Michigan to operate with scrubbers, and the first plant in the state that operates scrubbers in combination with SCRs.

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