Tractebel building two plants totaling $710 million

The US unit of France's Tractebel SA said Thursday it has begun construction of two gas-fired power plants totaling 1,225 Mw of generating capacity in Texas and Washington state. William P. Utt, CEO of Tractebel North America Inc., Houston, said the company expects a turnaround in power prices by the time the plants begin producing electricity in 2003.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Aug. 23 -- The US unit of France's Tractebel SA said Thursday it has begun construction of two gas-fired power plants totaling 1,225 Mw of generating capacity in Texas and Washington state.

William P. Utt, CEO of Tractebel North America Inc., Houston, said the merchant plants will be important additions to the company's portfolio when completed in 2003. By that time, he said, the company expects a turnaround in electricity prices, which have been falling.

"We don't invest for the next year," Utt said. The plants were based on "extensive analysis" and will have excellent positions in the market, he said.

The $360 million 505 Mw Chehalis power project will be built on a 31-acre site in Lewis County, Wash. Operated in conjunction with an advanced emissions control system, the project will use a multiple cell air condenser to minimize water usage, the company said. Energy generated from the facility will be sold directly into the Northwest Power Pool.

The $350 million Wise County, Tex., power project, will serve the electric power demands of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex area and north Texas. Much of the area is currently constrained by transmission bottlenecks that limit the amount of electricity that can be shuttled to the Dallas/Fort Worth area from south Texas.

The 720 Mw combined cycle facility will be one of the lowest emissions-producing plants in Texas, Tractebel said. Construction of both facilities is being performed under engineering, procurement, and construction contracts awarded to a consortium formed by a unit of Parsons Corp., Pasadena, Calif., and Chemicals Group Inc., Reading, Pa.

The energy arm of Suez, Tractebel has more than 50,000 Mw of generating capacity and operates gas transportation and distribution networks in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. In North America, Tractebel currently owns or operates 47 power, cogeneration, steam and chilled-water facilities representing more than 2,100 Mw, 21 million lbs/hr of steam sales, and 129,000 tons/hr of chilled water.

The company also has nine power projects in construction and four projects in advanced development representing 4,240 Mw of power, 1.9 million lbs/hr of steam sales, and 66,000 tons/hr of chilled water.

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