Power Plant Work On Schedule

JESSUP -- The Invenergy power plant in Jessup is several steps closer to generating electricity. When finished, it will be one of the largest natural-gas-fired facilities of its kind in the world.

The facility in Jessup will put out about two-thirds the amount of electricity as a typical nuclear power plant.

Crews are working around the clock to make sure construction stays on schedule as winter approaches.

Officials from Invenergy say construction may be just a little more than halfway complete.

In the last two years, workers built the framework of a 1500 megawatt natural-gas-fired power plant on abandoned land that once sat over old coal mines.

Jason Proskovec is the project manager for Kiewit, the construction company building the plant for Invenergy.

"Right now, we're right on track, right on schedule."

It's one of the largest construction projects in the region in a generation.

The site itself is the size of 16 New York City blocks, with enough wiring to string lines to Columbus, Ohio.

There's enough pipe installed to stretch as long as 85 football fields.

And right now, the project employs about 1,000 construction workers.

In about a year, only 30 people will be working here, all that's needed to run a 53-acre power plant.

Brian Baigis is from Throop and when he graduated from Penn State with a degree in chemical engineering, he took a job at a power plant in New Jersey because there were no positions that needed his skill set near home.

"It's great to be back home, watching this facility being built," he said.

Baigis now works at Invenergy's operations department and he's local, like most of the 30 workers who'll run the plant when it starts producing power.

"They're from Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wyoming Counties, great bunch of guys. They love this area and the opportunity to come here and work," Baigis said.

In Jessup, some who fought the plant harbor bitter feelings. They call construction cranes an eyesore and fear the plant will pollute.

But construction crews are working at what Invenergy calls maximum manpower, pushing to wrap up all outdoor work.

"That's one of the things were trying to protect ourselves from the winter is to enclose these buildings so that we can effectively work this winter," said Proskovec.

There are three power generators at the site. The first is scheduled to start producing electricity in June, the second in September, and the last one in December of 2018.

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