EDITORS: Please do not use
"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
LAUNCHES MODERNIZATION PROJECT OF MORE THAN $400 MILLION FOR MASS.
Salem, MA - PG&E Corporation's
(NYSE: PCG) National Energy Group today announced one of the largest
plant modernization projects of its kind -- an investment of over
$400 million -- to significantly reduce airborne emissions from
its 760-megawatt electric generating plant, Salem Harbor Station.
The Company plans to further
reduce the plant's rate of emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and
nitrogen oxides (NOx) by more than 65 percent and 55 percent respectively.
According to Steven A. Wolfgram, a vice president for the Corporation's
National Energy Group, this plan, on top of additional aggressive
emissions cuts begun last year, constitutes one of the most extensive
modernizations of a power plant of its kind in the country, and
goes well beyond any existing state emission requirements. "Since
taking over operations of the facility two years ago, we've made
environmental improvements a top priority. We've listened to community
concerns and we're delivering on our commitments," he said. "Salem
Harbor will soon be one of the cleanest coal-fueled generating plants
in the country."
Prior to plans announced
today, the company launched a three-year effort in 1999 to cut NOx
and SO2 emissions at the Salem Harbor and Brayton Point Stations.
In addition, since 1990, more than $130 million has been invested
at both plants to reduce emissions rates by 60 and 40 percent for
NOx and SO2 respectively. Upon the completion of the modernization
project announced today, the Salem Harbor plant will have reduced
both NOx and SO2 emissions by approximately 80 percent since 1990.
"I support PG&E's stated
intention to substantially reduce toxic emissions at the Salem Harbor
power plant," said Jan Schlichtmann, a local resident active in
environmental issues. "I look forward to working with PG&E and all
others to ensure that the Salem plant becomes one of the cleanest
in the region."
The proposed modernization
will use advanced technologies for emissions removal, including
a new clean coal boiler, a state-of-the-art emissions control technology
for NOx removal called selective catalytic reduction, a dry scrubber
system for removal of SO2, and a baghouse for removal of particulates.
Before starting the upgrade,
PG&E Corporation must acquire a series of local, state, and federal
approvals that could take over a year to secure. With the support
of the local community, the company is hoping for timely approvals.
"These investments represent
an all-around win for the residents of Salem, the plant's employees,
the environment, and the regional economy," said Salem Mayor Stanley
J. Usovicz, Jr. "The Salem Harbor plant has always been active in
this community, and these improvements go further to establish the
plant as a good, responsible neighbor." Given the timeframe for
permitting, the company expects to begin construction in 2002, and
complete the upgrade by the beginning of 2004. The project is expected
to provide approximately 500 additional union jobs during the construction
PG&E Corporation with 1999
operating revenues of nearly $21 billion and operations in 27 states,
markets energy services and products throughout North America through
its National Energy Group. The Corporation has a significant presence
in the New England area with ownership in 20 power plants and one
of the most active power trading businesses in the region.