Aspen Power in Lufkin will soon reopen, big boost for Angelina County
POSTED: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 10:15pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 8:30pm
LUFKIN, TEXAS (KETK) — The power plant in Lufkin hasn't been running for a little over a year because of financial challenges, but not for long good news for Angelina County.
Aspen power, the biomass power plant in Lufkin hasn't been operating since 2012. After a court ruling Monday, we're told NRG Energy Services in Houston will now operate the plant and is expected to be back on board in the next month. The 57-Megawatt Power plant faced financial challenges since opening in 2011.
"Unfortunately just about the time they came into business Natural Gas prices bottomed out and so they were not able to be competitive on the market," said Keith Wright, Deputy City Manager of Lufkin. He says they were unable to compete and operate the plant and they filed bankruptcy.
"U.S. Bank is kind of the bond holder in that process," said Wright. He says, innovative energy in New Jersey is currently managing Aspen Power.
He says, Angelina county needs the plant up and running. "If they sell it and bring it somebody that is actually going to operate it the plant, natural gas prices have come up and they're going to be more competitive particularly during the summer months."
Wright says property taxes were greatly reduced when the plant was shut down. He says it's a huge economic impact by creating more jobs.
We spoke with NRG they say they're looking forward to powering up the plant for the city of Lufkin. NRG was unavailable for an interview but tell us they will be sending a press release.