DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Panda Power Funds was joined today by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and officials from across the Keystone State to break ground on the company’s 829-megawatt combined-cycle “Liberty” generating station located in Bradford County, Pa. The Liberty project is the first power plant deliberately sited in the heart of the Marcellus Shale to take advantage of low natural gas prices and transportation costs. Panda expects commercial operations to begin by early 2016.
At the groundbreaking, Governor Corbett announced that, according to a third-party economic analysis, the Panda Liberty power plant will contribute an estimated $5.97 billion to the area’s economy during construction and the facility’s first 10 years of operation.
“By growing Pennsylvania’s world-class energy industry in a safe and responsible way, we are building a stronger Pennsylvania,” said Governor Tom Corbett. “As our economy continues to grow, companies like Panda Power Funds are investing in our commonwealth and are creating hundreds of family-sustaining jobs.”
“We are investing hundreds of millions of dollars here precisely because Governor Corbett and other Commonwealth officials have been far sighted in developing Pennsylvania’s abundant natural resources,” added Todd W. Carter, president and senior partner of Panda Power Funds. “Because of their vision, Pennsylvania is leading the nation toward economic prosperity and energy independence.”
The Liberty facility will be one of the cleanest natural gas-fueled power plants in the nation, utilizing state-of-the-art emissions-control technology. The plant will be powered by Siemens H-class gas turbines — the world’s first generation technology to achieve operating efficiencies of 60 percent — making the facility one of the most fuel-efficient natural gas power plants in the United States. In addition, unlike approximately 95 percent of the nation’s generating facilities, the plant will be cooled with air rather than water. As a result, the Liberty plant will not draw water from, or discharge water into, the Susquehanna River — eliminating potential impacts to species in the Susquehanna watershed.
Approximately 500 jobs will be created to construct the Liberty power plant at peak construction. During operations, the generating station will create an estimated 27 skilled jobs to operate the facility and 45 indirect jobs within the community to support the plant.
The Panda Liberty project has been strategically sited in the PJM Interconnection, the nation’s largest competitive wholesale electricity market, which serves 60 million people in all or parts of 13 states. The Interconnection is in need of new generating capacity as approximately 20,000 megawatts of coal-fired power generation is expected to retire by 2016. PJM also has an aging generating fleet, in need of replacement, with 70,000 megawatts of generation possessing an average age of 56 years.
Gemma Power Systems LLC, through a joint venture with The Lane Construction Corporation, is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor, and Siemens Energy Inc. will provide the power island package including the natural gas turbines, steam turbines, generators and waste heat recovery boilers. Gemma-Lane will be responsible for installing the power island equipment and for the engineering, procurement and installation of the balance of the plant, and the commissioning of the facility.
The generating station will be located in Asylum Township in Bradford County, approximately 140 miles northwest of Philadelphia. When completed, the generating station will be able to supply the power needs of up to 1 million homes in Pennsylvania.
About Panda Power Funds, LP
Founded in 2010, Panda Power Funds is a private equity firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas, which has the ability to develop, acquire, construct, finance and operate large-scale, natural gas-fueled power generation facilities. Panda has five combined-cycle power plants currently under construction in Texas and Pennsylvania with a total capacity of nearly 4,000 megawatts and has announced a 750-MW combined-cycle power plant in Northern Virginia and an 859-MW power facility in Southern Maryland. The fund built a 20-megawatt solar farm in Southwest New Jersey that is one of the largest solar facilities in the Northeast United States. Additional information on Panda Power Funds can be found at www.pandafunds.com.
About The Siemens Energy Sector
The Siemens Energy Sector is the world's leading supplier of a broad spectrum of products, services and solutions for power generation in thermal power plants and using renewables, power transmission in grids and for the extraction, processing and transport of oil and gas. In fiscal 2013 (ended September 30), the Energy Sector had revenues of EUR26.6 billion and received new orders totaling approximately EUR28.8 billion and posted a profit of approximately EUR2 billion. On September 30, 2013, the Energy Sector had a work force of approximately 83,500. Further information is available at: www.siemens.com/energy.
About Gemma-Lane Liberty Partners:
Gemma-Lane Liberty Partners brings together the strengths of two highly experienced construction organizations. Gemma Power Systems is a full service EPC contractor with the proven ability of designing, building and commissioning over 10,000 MW of large-scale clean gas-fired and renewable energy projects. Gemma Power Systems, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Argan Inc. (NYSE MKT: AGX) and is one of the largest power contractors in the Northeastern US.
Currently ranked as 43rd on Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) ‘Top 400 Contractors’ list, The Lane Construction Corporation is one of America’s premier heavy civil contractors. With experience in the shale gas industry, Lane is committed to providing a responsible and comprehensive approach to develop America’s domestic energy resources. Additional information about Gemma-Lane Liberty Partners and its parent companies can be found at www.Gemma-Lane.com.