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AEP PRESSURIZED FLUIDIZED BED COAL PROCESS WINS APPROVAL FROM U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

 AEP PRESSURIZED FLUIDIZED BED COAL PROCESS WINS APPROVAL
 FROM U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
 COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Energy today approved the application by Appalachian Power Company to continue with development of a 340,000 kilowatt commercial-size Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustion (PFBC) Plant.
 The approval will allow American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) ("AEP"), parent company of Appalachian Power, to continue with the design of a commercial demonstration PFBC plant through at least January 1994.
 AEP's current planning includes building a PFBC commercial demonstration project adjacent to Appalachian Power's Mountaineer generating station in New Haven, W.Va. In PFBC technology, coal is burned with dolomite, a type of limestone. Sulfur dioxide released by the burning of coal is captured by the dolomite during combustion, eliminating the need for flue gas desulfurization scrubbers and also reducing NOx emissions.
 "It is important to continue development of this promising clean coal technology so that it is ready to come on line as demand grows for electric power in our service territory," said AEP Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard E. Disbrow.
 "The approval of our application to continue work on PFBC gives us added confidence that coal will play a strong role in our planning for new generation. We believe this technology will be viable and available as we move toward replacing older generating units and adding new capacity during the next century," Disbrow added.
 According to Dr. James J. Markowsky, senior vice president and chief engineer at American Electric Power Service Corp., "We are very encouraged by the support shown by the Department of Energy in recognizing the importance of developing and commercializing PFBC technology by approving this application."
 Under terms of the approval, construction of a PFBC plant would begin by 1999 or up to three years earlier if growth in demand for electricity accelerates in Appalachian Power's service area. In any case, AEP will need public utility commission approval at the time an application for plant construction is filed.
 The four-year effort to refine the commercial PFBC design will cost an estimated $16 million, and the Department of Energy will share 48 percent of that cost. The Department of Energy's share of the total $918 million commercial project is $185 million.
 The first two years of AEP's proposed four-year program will focus on scaling up PFBC technology to ensure its best performance and explore incorporating hot gas clean-up into the design, using Ohio Power Company's Tidd PFBC Demonstration Plant and other operating PFBC plants in Europe as the basis for development. Ohio Power is also part of the AEP System.
 In the second two years, the program's focus will shift to improving the economy, efficiency and reliability of commercial-sized PFBC generating units. Those two years would also include development of an optimal design and cost estimate package for the PFBC unit at New Haven.
 AEP launched its PFBC research and development work in 1976, and in late 1990 the Tidd PFBC Demonstration Plant in Brilliant, Ohio, began operation. The Department of Energy is providing $60.2 million toward the $185 million program cost at Tidd, and the Ohio Coal Development Office is providing $10 million.
 The AEP System's eight electric utility operating companies serve seven million people in seven East-Central states -- Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.
 -0- 1/15/92
 /CONTACT: Luke M. Feck of American Electric Power, 614-223-1650/
 (AEP) CO: American Electric Power ST: Ohio IN: UTI SU:


CG -- CL018 -- 0146 01/15/92 16:10 EST
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Date:Jan 15, 1992
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