Plant construction delayed until 2003

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 11, 2002


LAPLACE – In a perfect world, San Diego, Calif.-based Sempra Energy expected to begin construction this year on its power plant in St. John the Baptist Parish.

But company officials recently said 2003 is now more likely.

Media relations manager Art Larson said the company is still going through the process of obtaining the necessary permits to begin construction on the 1200 megawatt power plant. As a rule of thumb, the permit process takes two years and then the construction process takes another two years.

“We were optimistic at the beginning,” said Art Larson, who added that he expects the plant to be operational in 2005.

The plant will feature some of the latest air emissions control technology, according to Larson, and will generate enough power for 750,000 homes in Louisiana and along the gulf coast.

For St. John Parish, Sempra’s $600 million investment means 300 jobs for plant construction.

“We’ve had very good support from the parish leaders and the business community,” said Larson. “We look forward to being their neighbor.”