“We talked about the infrastructure needs AEP would require for the plant...we want to be proactive and address them now,” Davenport said of the meeting between officials and the commissioners.
Those infrastructure needs relate to traffic flow in and out of the plant, the local road system and the water supply for the plant.
Dan Duellman, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant project engineer, said that AEP has been in contact with the Chester/Tuppers Plains Water District about supplying the plant's drinking water. Among other issues to be hammered out is the quantity of pipeline to be laid for the drinking water.
Also discussed on Friday was the traffic flow near the plant. Duellman said the plant should reduce some traffic flow problems by trucking slag to the plant's landfill below US 33 as opposed to crossing it.
Frank Pifer, AEP manager of operations and communications said that the location of US 33 was a factor in the site “scoring” so well.
Also discussed was the geotechnical work currently going on at the Great Bend site such as core drilling, extracting soil samples and an archaeologic survey.
“The landfill is good and even better than expected,” Duellman said. “There have been no fatal flaws found on the site.”
Frank Blake, AEP IGCC engineer added that AEP anticipates placing 20 cells along the Ohio River for barges to tie off on.
Duellman informed Sheets and Davenport that next week trucks will be at the site while some core boring occurs to determine foundation designs.
The commissioners also talked with AEP officials about what Davenport called their “willingness to set up how local vendors can learn how to bid on local construction at the plant.”
The plant could see actual construction begin in the spring of 2007.
“I think they've been very courteous and cooperative and free with their information on the plant,” Sheets said about the officials. “They want to keep the people of Meigs County informed and they tell us what they know as they know it.”
Jon Buck, AEP community affairs manager seemed to share a mutual respect with the commissioners by saying, “We really appreciate the cooperation of the commissioners, they've been very pleasant to work with and we appreciate their interest in our project.”
One of the mysteries of that project remains exactly when the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio will rule on a proposed plan to recover costs associated with the construction at the plant, though it is anticipated that decision will be toward the end of this month.
Although the commissioners and AEP are awaiting the PUCO's decision, preliminarily work on the site is on schedule.
AEP still hopes to have its IGCC plant in operation in 2010.
Pending a favorable outcome from the PUCO, Pifer said, “There is no reason why we couldn't make the 2010 date.”