Cushing biomass plant on schedule for start-up date

Steve Higginbottom Southern Company spokesman.
Steve Higginbottom Southern Company spokesman.

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - It's been seven months since the groundbreaking on a biomass plant between Cushing and Sacul.

In that time, the property has transformed into a busy construction site.

Six days a week, weather permitting, you can find just over 100 people busy laying the foundation for a 100 megawatt biomass facility.

"One hundred and four people are working on-site right now on construction and about 40 percent of those are local," said Southern Company spokesman Steve Higginbottom.

The contractor, Fagen INC. is building an additional entrance from Hwy 204 to the plant. It's primarily for increasing the number of delivery trucks loaded with building materials.

The construction is specific for a strong foundation to support a steam generator, capable of producing enough electricity to satisfy a contract with the city of Austin for 20 years.

"It's where the wood chips come, said the contractor. "They're burned to produce the steam to turn the turbine, to produce the electricity, so all that is the foundations for the heart of the plant right there."

It's the kind of energy Southern Company seeks out.

"We're a major partner in research with Department of Energy to look at renewables, how they're going to fit into fuel mix and we think it's very important that we, as a company, and the country take a look at that," said one major partner with DOE.

Right now the project is on schedule. Steel should start going up the first of the year. Projected start-up date is 2012.

©2010 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.