February 12, 2010 / 3:13 PM / 10 years ago

Cleco La. Rodemacher 3 power plant enters service

* Cleco takes control of $1 bln project from Shaw

* Cleco to start recovering project costs from ratepayers

* Cleco to use pet coke to fuel plant

NEW YORK, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Cleco Corp CNL.N said Friday the 600-megawatt Rodemacher 3 solid fuel power plant in Louisiana entered service.

In a release, Cleco, of Pineville, Louisiana, said it accepted control of the $1 billion unit after the Shaw Group Inc SHAW.N met provisional performance guarantees to achieve commercial operation.

With the commercial operation of the plant, Cleco will activate its new rate plan to recover the unit’s costs. The Louisiana Public Service Commission approved the plant in October 2009.

Shaw meanwhile will remain on site to address miscellaneous items and continue optimizing unit operation to meet performance guarantees. Cleco awarded Shaw the engineering, procurement and construction contract in August 2005. Construction started in April 2006, Cleco has said.

The plant will use circulating fluidized-bed technology that can burn multiple solid fuels to generate power. Initially, Cleco will burn petroleum coke, an oil refining byproduct, to fuel the unit.

But Cleco was also looking at using woody biomass as a potential fuel since the project is located in a timber-rich area.

Cleco said in the past Louisiana refineries have supplied nearly 400,000 tons of pet coke that have been delivered to and stored at the site.

Rodemacher is located north of Alexandria in Rapides Parish about 140 miles (225 km) northwest of Baton Rouge, the state capital. (Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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