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Financially-strapped ETX plant expected to reopen in late July

Financially-strapped ETX plant expected to reopen in late July
KETK
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POSTED: Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 1:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, June 23, 2014 - 1:32pm

The Lufkin power plant riddled with financial issues ever since its opening in 2011 is expected to begin operations in late July.

InventivEnergy, LLC has chose NRG Energy Services LLC to restart Aspen Power biomass plant and maintain the facility once online. The asset management firm has been overseeing the plant since it first opened in August 2011. The plant is the first wood-base biomass power plant in the state.

"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 also stated in May the plant was unable to compete and operate, so they filed bankruptcy.  

Work to restart the facility began in mid-May. The facility had been idle since 2012.  

“The Aspen Power facility was shut down in the fall of 2012 due to market economics. Since then, our projections show an attractive opportunity for the plant to resume operations and provide competitively-priced clean energy to the Texas market,” said John R. Keller, CEO & Founder of InventivEnergy in a release. “We are very excited to team-up with NRG in bringing Aspen back on-line and combining its top-tier O&M capabilities with InventivEnergy’s proven expertise in power plant asset management, value enhancement and optimization.” 

The plant can deliver about 50 megawatts to the grid and uses locally sourced clean wood-waste biomass as fuel, according to a release. 

NRG is currently in the process of hiring employees, said President Don Poe.

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