TVA awards $1.5 billion contract

By Abby Morris
STAR STAFF
amorris@starhq.com

   The Tennessee Valley Authority board announced Wednesday it has awarded a $1.5 billion contract to Advatech LLC to install pollution-control equipment at TVA fossil plants.
   Under the contract, Advatech LLC will design, manufacture, deliver and install five scrubbers at TVA's Paradise, Bull Run, Colbert and Kingston fossil plants over the next eight years. Two scrubbers will be installed at Kingston to reduce emissions from nine units. The contract also provides for installation of additional scrubbers as determined by the TVA.
   The process to gain approval for the project began a year ago, according to Barbara Martooci, media contact for TVA's Knoxville office.
   "It will allow us to meet clean air standards," Martooci said.
   At a time when much attention is being given to air pollution, TVA is doing more than just discussing possible actions. "We're not talking about it, we're doing it," Martooci said.
   Once installed, the scrubbers will remove about 200,000 tons of sulfur dioxide from TVA coal plant emissions, reducing emissions levels by approximately 85 percent by the end of the decade compared to emission levels in the late 1970s. The scrubbers use limestone to remove sulfur from the flue gas in coal-fired power plants.
   Construction is slated to begin on the first project, the scrubber being installed at Paradise Unit 3 in Western Kentucky in 2003 with a majority of the labor to be done in 2005, according to Martooci. It is estimated that as many as 300 jobs will be created during the construction.
   The projects will be done consecutively and no schedule has been finalized for the other projects. "It has to be done one at a time because of labor and construction costs," Martooci said.
   In addition to the unit in Kentucky, a scrubber will be installed at the Colbert facility in Northern Alabama, and a total of three scrubbers will be installed at Kingston and Bull Run, which are both located in the Knoxville area.
   "The locations for these scrubbers will provide the greatest environmental benefit for the investment and will help improve the air quality in the mountains of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina," said TVA Director Bill Baxter.
   TVA already has built and installed six scrubbers at its largest units. Cumberland, in Middle Tennessee, Paradise, and Widows Creek, Northern Alabama, each currently have two scrubber units.
   According to Martooci, the TVA currently spends approximately $1 million a day in air pollution control efforts.
   Advatech LLC, the company contracted on the scrubber project, was formed by URS Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to perform necessary work scrubber installations across the United States. The company will locate its corporate headquarters in Franklin and will open a project management office in Chattanooga.