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News

GE unit makes first investment in infrastructure project using gasification technology

AZDEL : 12 January, 2006  (Company News)
GE Energy Financial Services has made its first investment in a plant that will generate power and substitute natural gas using coal gasification technology. Shown is an artist's drawing of the type of equipment that will be used in Kentucky's 630 net megawatt Cash Creek Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle facility, one of the most advanced and largest gasification projects under development in the United States.
GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of General Electric, announced today that it has made its first investment in a plant that will generate power and produce substitute natural gas using coal gasification technology. It is acquiring a 20 percent equity interest in The ERORA Group LLC, which is developing Kentucky’s 630 net megawatt Cash Creek Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle facility, one of the most advanced and largest gasification projects under development in the United States.

Financial details of the transaction with Louisville-based ERORA were not disclosed.

Gasification converts coal into a gas that is cleaned and then can be used to generate power or modified further to produce natural gas, hydrogen, or other basic chemicals. Relative to conventional coal-based power generation technologies, the project would produce fewer air emissions, and would use less water to provide power for 400,000 homes.

“This transaction is an anchor for our plans to grow by investing in gasification, a cleaner, more environmentally friendly power source compared to traditional coal-fired generation and is consistent with GE’s ecomagination initiative, helping customers meet their environmental challenges,” said Dan Castagnola, a managing director at GE Energy Financial Services. “The investment represents an opportunity to build a coal gasification facility that takes advantage of an abundant, locally produced natural resource in Kentucky, the nation’s third-largest coal-producing state.”

Ecomagination is GE’s commitment to expand its portfolio of cleaner energy products while reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions.

The Cash Creek project‘s strategic location in Henderson County along the Green River provides the flexibility to interconnect with three electric grids, the PJM West, MISO and SPP, and is within six miles of both the ANR and TGT interstate gas pipeline connections, enabling efficient transport to end customers of the gas it will produce. Construction of Cash Creek is expected to begin in late 2007, pending financial close and required project approvals, with commercial operation planned in 2010/2011.

In making this investment in The ERORA Group, GE Energy Financial Services joins the New York investment firm D.E. Shaw group, which acquired a majority interest in the company last year.
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