DTE Energy Environmental Project Will Create 900 Jobs

$600 million Monroe Power Plant expenditure will improve air quality

MONROE, Mich., December 8, 2009 /PRNewswire/ – DTE Energy announced today that it will begin a major environmental construction project in the first quarter of 2010 at its Monroe Power Plant. The $600 million project will create 900 jobs and be one of the largest construction projects in Michigan over the next few years.

DTE Energy will be installing two additional flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems at the coal-fired Monroe Power Plant to further reduce sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions. FGDs, also known as scrubbers, reduce SO2 emissions by about 97 percent.

The Monroe Power plant, which consists of four individual generating units, began operation of two scrubbers earlier this year. When all four scrubbers are operational, they will nearly eliminate sulfur dioxide emissions from the plant.

The Monroe Power Plant is the first coal-fired power plant in Michigan to operate with scrubbers. It’s also the first plant in Michigan that operates scrubbers and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems – which reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by about 90 percent. When operating together on the same generating unit, the combination also eliminates 75 to 90 percent of mercury emissions.

“The Monroe Power Plant today is among the cleanest and most efficient coal plants in the country and the completion of the final scrubbers and SCR projects will place it among the very best in the world,” said Skiles Boyd, vice president, environmental management and resources, DTE Energy. “In addition to this project, we are planning for additional emissions control systems at our other fossil fuel plants.”

Steve Kurmas, president of Detroit Edison, DTE Energy’s electric utility, added, “Scrubbers are the best available technology for controlling SO2 emissions, and we believe that installing these systems on our largest and most efficient coal-fired power plant is in the best interest of our customers, the local community, the environment and our company.”

The $600 million scrubber project will create 600 construction jobs. The construction workers will come primarily from the local building trades unions.

It’s also estimated that the project will generate another 300 jobs and an additional $300 million in indirect economic activity in the region.

“The planned investment in the final two scrubbers continues an emissions control construction program that began 10 years ago and has cost $1.7 billion to date,” said Ron May, senior vice president, major enterprise projects, DTE Energy. “This investment makes a significant improvement to air quality in the region and supports the long-term operation of the Monroe Power Plant, which is a cornerstone of Detroit Edison’s generating fleet.”

May added that the $1.7 billion investment over the last 10 years created approximately 900 construction jobs. In addition, 40 full-time permanent jobs have been created to operate the scrubber systems.

Three of the Monroe plant’s four generating units are equipped with SCRs and plans call for starting construction on the final SCR in 2011. That project is projected to cost $330 million and will create another 400 construction jobs. At the peak of construction activity on the scrubbers and the SCR, a total of 1,000 construction workers will be employed. The total investment in the two scrubbers and the fourth SCR will approach $1 billion.

DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include Detroit Edison, an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan, MichCon, a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan and other non-utility, energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, coal and gas midstream, unconventional gas production and energy trading. Information about DTE Energy is available at www.dteenergy.com.

Source: DTE Energy

CONTACT: John Austerberry, +1-313-235-8859,
or Len Singer, +1-313-235-8809, both for DTE Energy

Web Site: http://www.dteenergy.com

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