Long-Discussed Power Plant Gains Traction

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(Image Courtesy: Discover New Carlisle) The plant would be located near the St. Joseph County town of New Carlisle. (Image Courtesy: Discover New Carlisle) The plant would be located near the St. Joseph County town of New Carlisle.

A $500 million proposal to build a natural gas-powered electricity plant near New Carlisle is moving forward. The South Bend Tribune reports the St. Joseph County Council has approved tax abatement and a development agreement for the St. Joseph Energy Center project from New York-based Development Partners Group LLC.

Construction of a new power plant in the area has been bandied about for decades. This proposal was publicly detailed in 2011 as a $700 million plan that has since been pared-down.

The partners say the project could create around 500 construction jobs over the next three years and lead to 20 high-wage jobs at the facility.

The publication reports Development Partners agreed to a 15-year tax abatement, which would save the the group some $60 million. It had been seeking an incentives package of around $72 million, but developers ditched a previous request for a $13 million bond issue to offset some construction costs of a new water treatment facility connected to the plant.

In addition to the plant and the treatment facility, plans also call for sewage infrastructure and drainage improvements, which some believe could also attract additional economic development opportunities to the mostly-rural area.

The plant is a joint venture between private equity group Ares Management LP and Toyota Group. It could be on-line by the end of 2018.

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