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NIPSCO DEDICATES PURE AIR SCRUBBER AT ITS BAILLY GENERATING STATION

 NIPSCO DEDICATES PURE AIR SCRUBBER AT ITS BAILLY GENERATING STATION
 HAMMOND, Ind., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Representatives from Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) (NYSE: NI), the Department of Energy (DOE) and Pure Air today dedicated the new flue gas desulfurization system, or scrubber, at NIPSCO's Bailly Generating Station located in Porter, Ind.
 With the operation of the Pure Air scrubber, NIPSCO is the first coal-fired utility in the Midwest, and the first utility in the nation, to meet the new federal sulfur dioxide clean air standards set to go into effect in 1995.
 The Pure Air system, which employs the largest single absorber in the country and the largest absorber for high-sulfur coal in the world, has consistently removed more than 90 percent of the sulfur dioxide emitted from Bailly Units 7 and 8, and has demonstrated the ability to achieve target removal rates of 95 percent or higher. This scrubber became operational 2-1/2 years ahead of the Jan. 1, 1995 deadline mandated by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.
 The Pure Air scrubber absorbs and neutralizes the sulfur dioxide gases created from burning coal by mixing it with wet limestone. What makes this scrubber unique is the fact that the scrubbing process creates a reusable byproduct-gypsum. The gypsum, which is 96 percent pure, is then sold to U.S. Gypsum for use in wallboard products produced by its East Chicago plant.
 Pure Air, a general partnership between Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc., owns and operates the scrubber under a 20-year agreement with NIPSCO.
 "With the operation of this scrubber, NIPSCO is a leader in the nation among coal-fired utilities in meeting the strict new federal sulfur dioxide standards through the year 2000," said Edmund A. Schroer, NIPSCO's chairman and chief executive officer. "Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was clear that the government would mandate stricter clean air guidelines. Rather than be complacent, NIPSCO took the initiative and continued its policy to develop independent generating capabilities with environmentally advanced coal-fired plants, and made the investment to clean up early. With this project, all of NIPSCO's coal-fired generating units are operating in full compliance with the new federal SO2 guidelines."
 Schroer explained that NIPSCO's efforts to be in compliance with the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 were achieved without an immediate rate increase. "A modest rate increase may occur in 1996, at the earliest," he said. "Initial estimates indicate that the increase will be less than five percent." Other utilities in the Midwest will have to increase their rates substantially to be in compliance with the new federal regulations.
 Since the scrubber began operation on June 2, 1992, it has removed more than 30 million pounds of sulfur dioxide from emissions created by Bailly Units 7 and 8.
 Bailly Generating Station
 Fact Sheet
 Bailly Station History:
 -- NIPSCO broke ground on the first of three units that generate a combined total of more than 500 megawatts of power in the late 1950s. Two of the three units, 7 and 8, are designed to burn high-sulfur coal and natural gas. Unit 10, the third unit, burns natural gas and is used only to meet peak electricity demand;
 -- Unit 7, which has a net capacity of 160 megawatts, went into operation in 1962; Unit 8, which has a net capacity of 320 megawatts, went into operation in 1968. Unit 10, which also went into operation in 1968, has a net capacity of 31 megawatts.
 Pure Air Scrubber:
 -- Groundbreaking was on April 20, 1990;
 -- The Pure Air scrubber is the largest single absorber in the country and the largest absorber for high-sulfur coal in the world;
 -- The scrubber has consistently removed more than 90 percent of the SO2 content from emissions;
 -- More than 430,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide is removed each day;
 -- Since June 2, 1992, more than 30 million pounds of SO2 has been removed;
 -- The scrubber consumes 700,000 pounds of limestone a day;
 -- The scrubber produces more than 1.3 million pounds of gypsum a day;
 -- There are 30 full-time employees operating the scrubber 24 hours a day.
 -0- 8/25/92
 /CONTACT: Thomas J. Kallay of NIPSCO, 219-647-6203/
 (NI) CO: NIPSCO Industries, Inc. ST: Indiana IN: UTI SU:


KK -- CL010 -- 3055 08/25/92 13:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 25, 1992
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