|Is a fourth stack in the future for the Hunter Plant?|
On Sept. 25 in the Museum of the San Rafael, the Emery County Chamber of Commerce held its monthly luncheon. Mark Mansfield, Hunter Plant Superintendent was the guest speaker.
Mansfield began with a report on the water situation at the Huntington Plant. There are several problems with the James Canyon wells, one concerning a pump motor out for repair. At the James Canyon #3, the water is being throttled back.
"Skyline Mine will close as soon as the longwall move is completed." said Mansfield. "Water is tight at Electric Lake, but it has 8,000 acre feet more water than at this time last year. We put flourosene dye in the lake to track the water's movement, but as of this time, no dye has been traced. The rumors of its surfacing are not true. Our engineers say we probably will not have the reports on the dye until at least February."
Mansfield reported that water situation at the Hunter Plant is a little better, and with the conservation methods implemented at that plant, water is being used more efficiently. PacifiCorp is hoping along with everyone else that this winter will be a good one.
Hunter Two is offline at the moment. Work is being done on the connections as the plant was notified by the manufacturer that some are failing in other plants, so this work is being done as a preventative measure. Along with the connection work, some overhaul work will be done. There will be a few overhaul workers coming in and staying for several weeks.
Unit one is scheduled for overhaul in April of 2004. The work is expected to continue through mid May at an estimated cost of $30 million.
The farm at the Hunter Plant has donated hay to the Emery High Rodeo Club and Mansfield alerted the chamber that any non profit organization can apply for hay from the farm. They have also donated hay to a group in Park City.
Hunter Plant currently employs 233 people. In the near future there will be several openings at the plant for mechanics and there may be some meter reader positions become available. Huntington Plant is also in need of several more employees. Mansfield hopes to hire all local people for these positions. Interested applicants must apply through the Portland office via the website. Dale Roper, from the Department of Workforce Services announced that their office will assist individuals with this.
Hunter Four was the last topic of discussion. Mansfield informed the group that the power that this addition would generate is badly needed, but there are many hurdles to overcome before that unit can be built.
With six states owning a share of PacifiCorp, they must all agree on the location of a new plant and the need for that plant. At the present time, only Utah has agreed to come on board. Wyoming wants the plant to be built in that state and use their coal. While Oregon does not feel there is a need for anymore coal burning plants.
"We are close to having an acceptable plan for all the states involved, and now we have to prove we are the lowest cost option available." Mansfield said. "We feel we have a real strong project, but do not speculate yet."
"The public hearings may begin in the spring of 2004, but we are still 10-12 months away from a permit. After the permit is issued, construction will not begin for possibly another 18 months. The construction phase of Hunter Four is estimated to take three years. It's no secret, when things begin to happen and the project is definite, everyone will know," said Mansfield.
Mansfield continued, " Environmentally, Hunter Four would not increase pollution. The additional unit would also require approximately 60-70 new employees."
An overhaul of Unit Three is scheduled for April of 2005. Mansfield also informed the group that no expansion will ever take place at the Huntington Plant.