DALLAS & MONTGOMERY, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and officials from across the Commonwealth joined Panda Power Funds today to break ground on the company’s 829-megawatt combined-cycle “Patriot” generating station located in Lycoming County, Pa. The Patriot project is only the second power plant in Pennsylvania, after Panda’s Liberty power project, specifically sited in the heart of the Marcellus Shale. The plant’s proximity to Marcellus natural gas is expected to provide the project with significant operating cost advantages. Panda expects the Patriot generating station to enter commercial operations in mid-2016.
During the ceremony, Governor Corbett announced that the power project will contribute an estimated $5.85 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy during construction and the plant’s first 10 years of operation.
“This is another project that shows how our ‘all of the above and below’ energy strategy is putting Pennsylvania at the forefront of the American energy revolution,” said Governor Tom Corbett. “By responsibly harvesting our abundant energy resources, we are creating family-sustaining jobs and are reinvigorating local communities all over Pennsylvania.”
“Panda Power Funds is making a strong financial commitment to the people of Pennsylvania because Governor Corbett and many other elected officials — including Senator Yaw and Representative Everett — made a previous commitment to carefully develop Pennsylvania’s vast supply of natural gas,” said Todd W. Carter, president and senior partner of Panda Power Funds. “They saw then, what is happening now — the rebirth of Pennsylvania’s industrial base and a renewed hope for America’s energy independence.”
The Panda Patriot 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 plant 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 Patriot plant will not discharge water into the Western Branch of the Susquehanna River — eliminating potential impacts to sensitive species in the Susquehanna watershed.
Approximately 500 jobs will be created to construct the Patriot 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 Patriot project has been strategically sited in the Marcellus Shale, estimated to be the second largest natural gas field in the world with up to 330 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas — or the equivalent of 100 years of production at current levels. The facility’s closeness to such large natural gas reserves is expected to create a new, long-term market for local gas producers and royalty owners.
The Panda Patriot project will provide power to the eastern portion of the PJM Interconnection, North America’s largest transmission system serving approximately 61 million people in all or parts of 13 states and the District of Columbia. The Interconnection is in need of new generating capacity as approximately 20,000 megawatts of coal-fired power generation is scheduled 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.
Originally developed by Moxie Energy, the Patriot project will be built by Gemma Power Systems LLC, through a joint venture with The Lane Construction Corporation. Gemma-Lane will serve as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor, and Siemens Energy Inc. will provide the power island package including the natural gas turbines, steam turbines, generators, heat recovery steam generators, and instrument and control systems. 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 on an 85-acre site in Montgomery, Pa., approximately 60 miles north of Harrisburg. 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 778-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 Patriot Partners:
Gemma-Lane Patriot 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 11,000 MW of large-scale clean gas-fired and renewable energy projects. Gemma Power Systems, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Argan Inc. (NYSE: AGX) and is one of the largest power contractors in the Northeastern US.
Currently ranked as 44th 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 Patriot Partners and its parent companies can be found at www.Gemma-Lane.com, www.gemmapower.com, or www.laneconstruct.com.