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Progress still delayed at Two Elk plant after 18 years

Apr 3, 2014 - By Mead Gruver, The Associated Press

A power plant that has been in the works for 18 years remains stalled three months after the officially scheduled date when construction was supposed to have resumed, a Wyoming official said.

The state Industrial Siting Division has been waiting to hear from Greenwood Village, Colo.-based North American Power Group about its latest timetable for building the Two Elk power plant, division Administrator Luke Esch said.

"They need to update their construction schedule because they did not commence construction in January, as they had indicated a year ago from today," Esch said.

An attorney for the agency has been in contact with Mary Throne, an attorney for the company, Esch said.

Brad Enzi, North American Power Group's Cheyenne-based vice president, did not return messages, and Throne declined comment.

A year ago Tuesday, the state Industrial Siting Council approved a seventh permit extension in 16 years for the $800 million project.

The council reviews major industrial projects so that nearby towns are better able to anticipate and handle influxes of workers and heavy traffic.

"I'm committing to that schedule change," Enzi said at the meeting when asked by council member John Corra, a former Department of Environmental Quality director, if work would resume Jan. 1.

Company officials have said the 300-megawatt power plant 15 miles east of Wright would be fueled by beetle-killed timber and low-grade coal from the area's vast coal mines.

Enzi has blamed difficulty securing financing for holding up the project.

A quarterly status report North American Power Group filed with the state Air Quality Division on Jan. 14 shows the company has been looking into buying a gas-fired turbine for the power plant.

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