AEP to make additional environmental investments at Mitchell, Mountaineer plants in West Virginia
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 27, 2004 - American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) will invest an estimated $1.2 billion to install additional environmental controls at two of its coal-fired power plants: Mitchell Plant near Moundsville, W.Va., and Mountaineer Plant at New Haven, W.Va.
"This investment in our plants will not only improve the environment but will keep these low-cost plants producing energy for our customers," said Michael G. Morris, AEP´s chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We will seek recovery of these environmental investments through electricity rates and expect our plan will be well received by regulators because it represents the best and least-expensive compliance path for our customers and still leaves our rates among the lowest in the region."
AEP is beginning preliminary studies and engineering for the installation of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems on Mitchell Plant units 1 and 2, 800 megawatts each, and Mountaineer Plant, 1,300 megawatts. FGD systems, commonly called "scrubbers," reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, a contributor to acid rain, by up to 98 percent.
AEP also will be installing selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems on Mitchell units 1 and 2. SCR systems reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, a contributor to the formation of urban ozone or smog, by up to 90 percent. The unit at Mountaineer already has an SCR system. At the same time, AEP is moving forward on the previously announced construction of an SCR system on the Muskingum River Plant’s 585-megawatt unit 5 and is continuing work on construction of SCR systems on John E. Amos Plant´s 800-megawatt units 1 and 2. The Amos plant, which already has an SCR system on its 1,300-megawatt unit 3, is located near St. Albans, W.Va. The Muskingum River plant is located near Beverly, Ohio.
AEP expects the FGD installations to be complete in 2007 or 2008. The Amos unit 2 SCR system will be operational this May. The Amos unit 1 and Muskingum River unit 5 SCR systems will be operational for the 2005 ozone season. The Mitchell units 1 and 2 SCR systems are expected to be operational for the 2007 ozone season.
The construction projects will create the need for temporary labor. Temporary positions will be filled through contractors selected to install the equipment. Workers from all 14 building trades will be supplied through local union hiring halls. Additional full-time staff will be required once the scrubbers are completed and in operation. The number of additional full-time staff will depend upon the technology installed and material-handling decisions the company makes during the engineering phase.
American Electric Power owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and select international markets and is the largest electricity generator in the U.S. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with almost 5 million customers linked to AEP’s 11-state electricity transmission and distribution grid. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.
The comments set forth above include forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although AEP and its registrant subsidiaries believe that their expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, any such statements may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are: electric load and customer growth; abnormal weather conditions; available sources and costs of fuels; availability of generating capacity; the speed and degree to which competition is introduced to the company’s service territories; the ability to recover stranded costs in connection with deregulation; new legislation and government regulation including requirements for reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, carbon and other substances; pending and future rate cases and negotiations; oversight and/or investigation of the energy sector or its participants; the company’s ability to successfully control costs; the success of disposing of existing investments that no longer match the company’s corporate profile; international and country-specific developments affecting foreign investments including the disposition of any current foreign investments; the economic climate and growth in the company’s service territory and changes in market demand and demographic patterns; inflationary trends; accounting pronouncements periodically issued by accounting standard-setting bodies; the performance of AEP’s pension plan; electricity and gas market prices; interest rates; liquidity in the banking, capital and wholesale power markets; actions of rating agencies; changes in technology, including the increased use of distributed generation within the company’s transmission and distribution service territory; and other risks and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism, embargoes and other catastrophic events.
Manager, Corporate Media Relations
American Electric Power