Coal

Black Hills awards $100 million coal-fired power plant contract

Jan. 22, 2001—Black Hills Corp. has awarded Babcock & Wilcox Co., a subsidiary of McDermott International Inc., a $100 million design-build contract for Wygen Unit 1, an 80 MW coal-fired power plant near Gillette, Wyoming.

Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) said the plant will be the only new-capacity pulverized coal-fired power plant under contract in the U.S..

Wygen will be the fourth coal-fired plant at Black Hill’s energy complex which includes the 80 MW Neil Simpson Unit 2, 330. The MWWyodak Unit 1 owned primarily by PacifiCorp, was completed in 1978. The new unit will consume 500,000 tonnes/year of low-sulfur sub-bituminous coal from Wyodak mine, operated by Wyodak Resources Development Corp. It is scheduled for operation in July 2003.

The construction of Wygen Unit I highlights the critical role of coal as a fuel for electric power expansion programs, especially with the high cost and uncertainty of natural gas, said B&W Pres. James F. Wood. “We expect Wygen Unit I to be a strong reference plant for future power development projects in North America and the world.”

Wygen Unit 1 will feature a B&W pulverized-coal-fired boiler producing 778,000 lb/hr of superheated steam at 1005� F. and 1620 psi of pressure.

B&W will design, manufacture, and construct all major emissions control equipment, including its dry scrubbing system that features a patented spray absorption process for sulfur dioxide removal. Additionally, B&W will design and supply the selective catalytic reduction system for post-combustion nitrogen oxides (NOx) control, and a fabric filter baghouse for particulate removal. B&W said the boilers feature its latest design of ultralow NOx burners and overfire air systems.

Earlier, Black Hills said it expected to report record fourth quarter results 80-90 cents/share, up from 50 cents/share in the year earlier period. The company attributed its strong to its independent energy unit and increased wholesale electric sales. The Rapid City, SD,-based company said it expected to post earnings of $2.33-$2.43/share for the year ended Dec. 31, 2000, up from $1.73/share in 1999. A portion of the increased earnings can be attributed to unusual conditions in western gas and electricity markets that may not recur, the company said in a news release.