Coal-fired Montana power plant to be mothballed due to EPA rules: company

Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:10pm EDT

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(Reuters) - A coal-fired power plant in Billings, Montana, will be mothballed starting in April 2015 because it will cost too much to comply with new emissions reductions required by the government, plant owner and operator PPL Montana said on Wednesday.

The company plans to operate the 154-megawatt J.E. Corette power plant until requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standard take effect in April 2015.

"Our detailed analysis has shown that to meet the emission reductions required by EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, we would need to invest $38 million in the Corette plant," the company said in a statement.

"We simply cannot justify that level of spending in the current wholesale power market in the Northwest," it added.

The plant will then be placed in reserve status, commonly called mothballing. Mothballing the Corette plant, rather than shutting it down permanently, gives PPL Montana the opportunity to resume operations at some point if conditions change.

PPL Montana is a subsidiary of PPL Corp.

(Reporting by Koustav Samanta in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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