New Castle News

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June 24, 2013

Coal-fired West Pittsburg plant will burn gas; won’t close

NEW CASTLE — A coal-fired West Pittsburg power plant will begin burning natural gas instead of shutting down.

NRG Energy plans to convert the 60-year-old plant that had been slated to shut down in April 1015.

The plant’s previous owner, GenOn Energy Inc., of Houston, announced last year that the plant was one of five coal-fired Pennsylvania operations under tougher federal environmental rules that make it more expensive to operate coal-fired plants.

Instead, the plant has been sold to Princeton, N.J.-based NRG, which hopes to convert the plant to natural gas-burning by May 2016.

Company spokesman Dave Daier says the move will save all 40 full-time jobs at the plant, and could create up to 100 temporary construction jobs during the conversion process.

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