• 68°

Calpine still seeking approval

Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Patricia Clonch said a representative with Calpine Energy's eastern regional office in Boston was in Lawrence County recently.

Clonch described the meeting between the Calpine executive and local business and government leaders as an "advance trip."

The representative, whom she did not want to identify at this time, discussed the structuring of an enterprise zone agreement, in the event the Calpine Board of Directors chooses to build a merchant plant here.

"There were no deals. This was strictly a meeting to reinforce their position in the community," Clonch said. "They still must get approval from their board."

Clonch said local leaders assured the Calpine official of local support for the idea.

"Projects like this are always competitive," Clonch said. "But in this economic market, we definitely want this project in Lawrence County. If its done, we want it here."

The plant would be built on a 278 acre site situated between US 52 and the Ohio River at Hanging Rock. Archaeological studies on the site have been completed, and Calpine is now waiting for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to approve an air permit.

Clonch said after that, there would probably be additional public hearings before the corporate leaders make a final decision on the matter.

It may be as long as two years before construction would begin, in the event the proposal gets final approval from the Calpine board of directors. Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune