LUFKIN, TX (News Release) - After receiving final approval of all necessary permits, Pinecrest Energy Center (known widely as Project 800) is ready to begin construction of its gas-fired, electrical generating plant in Lufkin.
Pinecrest, whose parent company is Coronado Power Ventures, and the City of Lufkin announced Tuesday morning that the business plans to build the $700 million facility on 83 acres near State 103 East and Loop 287. The press conference was held at Lufkin's Business Park.
Thad Chambers, Lufkin's economic development director, said the approval of the final Greenhouse Gas permit in August and all of the hard work done by ONCOR for Pinecrest's Interconnection agreement brings the project to the next step.
“An Interconnection agreement with ONCOR, means Pinecrest will be able to supply electricity to the grid," Chambers said. "They had to determine how to get the power from the plant to the main grid. Having determined a specific line and worked out an agreement, Pinecrest has completed the final stages and can move forward.”
Pinecrest plans to begin construction in the first quarter of 2015. The hope is to be operational by summer 2017 to meet peak demand.
The construction of the facility, according to a third-party report commissioned by Pinecrest, will generate approximately $1.4 billion in economic output. Plans call for 3,342 direct, indirect, and induced construction jobs during the multi-year project, which will generate $379 million in salaries for area workers.
Once the plant is operating, it will employ 25 to 30 workers with annual salaries in the $75,000 range, according to Pinecrest officials.
The plant is expected to produce 730 megawatts of electrical power, which can provide power to about 700,000 homes. It will utilize the most recent advanced emissions-control technology, which will make it one of the cleanest natural gas-fueled power plants in Texas.
For Lufkin residents, a proposed water rate increase is being delayed because it is expected that the plant's usage will provide the funds the City needed to pay for improvements to the system. The plant's water and sewer usage, expected to be in the $2 million range, should prevent residents' water rates from increasing for the foreseeable future, Chambers said.