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Pennsylvania DEP approves construction of 450MW Birdsboro power plant

EBR Staff Writer Published 06 March 2018

Ares Management has secured an approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to move ahead with the construction of the $600m Birdsboro natural gas-fired plant in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

The department has issued the necessary permits for the construction of the 450MW power plant to Birdsboro Power, DTE Midstream Appalachia and the Reading Area Water Authority.

To be constructed on the site of the former Birdsboro Army Tank Foundry/Armorcast facility, the new Birdsboro power plant is expected to enter into commercial operations in the second quarter of 2019. The combined-cycle generation facility will feature the GE 7HA.02 gas turbine and a GE steam turbine.

DEP’s permits will pave way, particularly for the construction of the main gas-fired power plant and an electric transmission line to transmit the generated electricity.

Also covered in the permits are constriction of a pipeline to supply water to the power plant and a pipeline to supply natural gas to the plant, which is also regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

DEP South-central regional director Joe Adams said: “The permit applications for a project of this magnitude require the DEP staff and the Berks County Conservation District to dedicate a great amount of time and effort to the review process.

“After a thorough and rigorous technical review, it has been determined that the applications meet the stringent regulatory requirements necessary to enable this project to move forward.”

Last month, Ares Management said that a fund managed by the Ares EIF Group had closed an equity investment for the construction of the Birdsboro power plant. The non-recourse debt financing for the project was arranged by CIT Bank, GE Energy Financial Services and Investec.

Nebraska-based Kiewit is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor of the Birdsboro power plant, which is anticipated to create hundreds of construction jobs and 20 on-site jobs following its completion.