$120m natural gas-fired plant to power Morgan City

The Louisiana Energy and Power Authority (LEPA) has constructed a $120 million natural gas-fired electrical facility in Morgan City. Final testing is underway at the plant, which is expected to be fully operational soon.

The 64MW nominal rated natural gas-fired combined-cycle gas turbine generating plant is said to be the first power plant to be built in the southern region of Louisiana in approximately 40 years. The plant is energy efficient as waste heat from the gas turbine will be recovered and used to produce additional power. The combine cycle gas turbine generators support clean air.

The unit uses clean burning natural gas, minimizing extensive environmental control systems. The plant is interconnected to the Texas Gas Transmission pipeline with a 1.3 mile, 8-inch natural gas pipeline. The plant utilizes reclaimed water discharged from the nearby Morgan City Waste Water Treatment Plant, conserving treated water.

Six LEPA member municipalities — Morgan City, Houma, Jonesville, Plaquemine, Rayne and Vidalia — have entered into long-term power sales agreements for the plant’s power output. The fuel efficient plant is expected to help stabilize the cost of electrical power for these municipalities by minimizing the impact of fluctuations in natural gas rates.

LEPA General Manager Cordell Grand said, “The plant is expected to supply these municipalities with competitively priced electrical power that will reduce their reliance on older, more costly electric supply options. The CCGT technology used in this plant is superior to conventional fossil fueled generating plants because of its higher efficiency, lower environmental impact, lower capital cost and shorter construction time.”

Created by the Louisiana Legislature in 1979, LEPA is headquartered in Lafayette and consists of 17 Louisiana municipalities that maintain their own independent municipal electrical system.