LRCA, Fluor break ground on new Ferguson gas-fired power plant

Source: Lower Colorado River Authority

The Lower Colorado River Authority’s (LCRA) Ferguson Replacement Project was described as efficient, environmentally responsible and economically beneficial during the new natural gas-fired power plant's groundbreaking ceremony on April 27.

Representatives from LCRA, project contractor Fluor Corporation (Fluor) (NYSE:FLR) and LCRA's Board of Directors joined several LCRA wholesale electric customers, elected officials and community leaders at the new plant's construction site next to the operating Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant. Speakers at the ceremony acknowledged the new plant's future contributions to LCRA's electric customers, the community, neighbors and the environment. 

LCRA is replacing its 37-year-old Ferguson plant near Horseshoe Bay with a new natural gas-fired power plant that will be one of the most efficient and environmentally responsible electric generating facilities operating in Texas. The 540-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas plant will use about 35 percent less fuel than a traditional gas-fired plant by combining a gas-turbine system and a steam-cycle system to generate electricity. The combination of the cycles creates a highly efficient power plant with lower fuel costs and fewer emissions.

"This new plant will incorporate very cost-effective and clean technologies to produce electricity," said state Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay. "It will be good for the people of Texas, and especially beneficial to the area by providing another electric generation resource that will strengthen LCRA's ability to maintain reliable electric service in the Hill Country."

LCRA plans to decommission the existing plant following Fluor's two-year construction phase that is expected to bring the new power plant on-line in 2014.

The groundbreaking ceremony came a little more than a week after the LCRA Board's April 18 approval of the organization's Business Plan for Fiscal Year 2013. The plan cuts $39.8 million in expenses based upon LCRA goals of developing 100,000 acre-feet of new water supplies by the end of fiscal year 2013 and holding the nonfuel rates LCRA charges its 43 wholesale electric customers flat for the next four years.
Fluor currently is performing site preparation and expects construction staffing levels to reach a peak of about 450 workers in the spring and summer of 2013.

"Fluor is pleased to participate in today's groundbreaking ceremony and the opportunity to partner with LCRA and the local community on the design and construction of the Ferguson Replacement Project," said Dave Dunning, president of Fluor's Power Group. "Fluor's experience building power plants in Texas, together with our more than 30 gigawatts of gas-fired design, construction and commissioning experience over the past 10 years, will ensure that the needs of both LCRA and the local community are met through this project." 

For the most up to date and in-depth information on the Natural Gas Generation market visit PennEnergy's comprehensive Research area to access industry focused Reports.

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