May 31, 2001
Equipment is now operational at PPL's Montour power plant that will reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 90 percent and significantly reduce airborne coal ash. The plant is owned and operated by a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL).
Located near Washingtonville, Montour County, in north central Pennsylvania, the $215 million equipment was installed at the plant's two generating units in two phases. The cost was equivalent to the original 1970 price tag of the entire plant.
Construction of a new selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system and an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) for Unit 2 began in August 1999. The Unit 2 equipment was in place and operational in June 2000. Installation of the same kind of equipment on Montour's Unit 1 generator began in the summer of 2000 and was recently completed.
"Now more than ever, coal is an important fuel in our nation's generation mix. The addition of these emission control systems at Montour will continue the environmental viability of this plant," said Dennis Murphy, vice president and chief operating officer of PPL Generation-East, which operates PPL's Eastern U.S. plants.
The new catalytic reduction equipment will remove about 90 percent of the plant's nitrogen oxide emissions during the ozone season. Airborne NOx can interact with tailpipe emissions from motor vehicles and sunlight on hot summer days to produce ground-level ozone - a major component of smog that can affect breathing.
Montour's new precipitators are expected to remove most of the coal ash before it reaches the plant's stacks and the atmosphere. Coal ash, like nitrogen oxide, is a byproduct of the coal-burning process. Ninety-five percent of the coal ash produced at the Montour plant is reused in the construction industry, as anti-skid material for roads or in mine reclamation.
Since 1990, PPL has committed about $380 million to air quality equipment. The SCR project at Montour allows the company to make additional NOx reductions well ahead of the 2003 NOx reduction target set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
Crews built the clean-air components on site using large, 400-foot cranes and heavy scaffolds. Plant superintendent Harry Spagnola said cooperation was the key to the project's success.
"The installation was completed on schedule and is really a tribute to the hard work of our employees and the many contractors who have been involved over the past three years," Spagnola said.
DB Riley of Worcester, Mass., designed and supplied Montour's new SCR system. Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control Inc. of Pittsburgh designed and built the electrostatic precipitators and constructed the SCR system.
PPL Corporation, headquartered in Allentown, Pa., generates electricity at power plants in Pennsylvania, Maine and Montana; markets wholesale or retail energy in 42 U.S. states and Canada; and delivers electricity to nearly 6 million customers in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom and Latin America.
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SOURCE: PPL Corporation
Contact: Andy Hallmark of PPL Corporation, 610-774-5997, or fax,