Coal, O&M

Coal-fired power plant fire injures three

A recent fire at the Laramie River Station coal-fired power plant near Wheatland, Wyo. injured three plant employees. The fire was the second at the plant in a five-day period.

The fire started in the station’s in one of the dust collection hoppers in the coal unloading area around 6 a.m. Sunday morning. The previous first started in a surge bin, which collects coal from conveyer belts.

According to a statement from the plant’s owner, Basin Electric Power Co-op, one employee was flown to the Colorado Burn Center, while two others were treated at the Platte County Memorial Hospital in Wheatland and released. The company stated an investigation team has been deployed and an external investigation expert is being contacted.

The company entered into a program with Caterpillar Safety Services in early May to “transform Basin Electric’s safety program to a cooperative-wide culture of safety,” according to a news release issued by the company.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported one of the three units at the 1,700 MW plant was taken offline as a result of the fire, while another has been offline since early April for planned maintenance. A spokesperson for BEPC said the company is able to use other options, including buying from other utilities, to maintain the reliability of power delivery.

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