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Power plant sale stalls again

December 24, 2012
By Jenny Lancour - Staff Writer , Daily Press

ESCANABA - The sale of the Escanaba Power Plant did not meet the Dec. 20 closing date but the purchaser assured the Escanaba City Council the process is moving along.

Escanaba Green Energy (EGE) President Charles Detiege presented an update to council Thursday on documents which have yet to be finalized before the local company can close on the $1.6 million deal with the city.

EGE continues to work with its lender on a $30 million loan which will be used to purchase the property and convert the coal-fueled facility to burn biomass, he said. In addition to the loan paperwork, other documents yet to be finalized include property insurance and title insurance, said Detiege.

A 14-day notice to switch the plant's ownership from the city to EGE is also required by the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc., an interconnection agency which buys and sells energy on the power market, he said.

Detiege told council he hopes the necessary documentation can be completed by the end of the year with the sale closing to occur in January.

City Attorney Ralph "B.K." Peterson also noted EGE's bank, Provartis AG in Europe, also has some "homeland security hoops to jump through" to transfer the loan money into the U.S.

EGE's site plan to convert the plant and construct a fuel storage yard and a processing facility was approved by the city planning commission on Nov. 8. Construction to convert the plant from coal to wood is slated to begin in the spring with the two boilers being converted by the end of 2013.

Escanaba is selling the power plant because it is less costly for the city to purchase energy from a supplier compared to generating its own electricity by burning coal.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143,



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