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Emissions Reduction and Efficiency Improvements Completed at MidAmerican Energy's Council Bluffs Energy Center.

$350 Million Total Investment in Environmental Upgrades at MidAmerican's Coal-Fueled Power Plants without Impacting Customers' Electric Rates

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- MidAmerican Energy has completed major environmental upgrades and efficiency improvements at its coal-fueled Council Bluffs Energy Center Unit 3, without raising customers' electric rates to pay for the improvements.

The project, completed last week, improves power plant efficiency as well as reducing the plant's emissions. The investment is one component of MidAmerican Energy's overall effort to significantly reduce emissions at its electric generating plants.

"MidAmerican plans to complete more than $350 million in environmental upgrades at its coal-fueled power plants between 2006 and 2009," said Steve Brewer, vice president of energy supply for MidAmerican Energy Company. "In addition to the work done at the Council Bluffs Energy Center, we will be completing emissions reduction projects at power plants located near the Quad Cities, Muscatine and south of Sioux City."

MidAmerican Energy presently meets or exceeds emissions requirements at all of its power plants. In addition to substantially lowering emissions, the emissions reduction projects will assist with meeting or exceeding new requirements of the Clean Air Interstate Rule that prescribes more stringent emissions levels for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides; and the Clean Air Mercury Rule, which requires reductions of mercury emissions from coal-fueled generating facilities.

The $350 million investment includes the installation of some of the latest technologies for low nitrogen oxides burners; carbon injection systems for mercury control; and scrubbers and baghouse projects that reduce sulfur dioxide and particulate matter emissions.

The Council Bluffs Energy Center Unit 3 work is projected to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 67 percent and improve plant efficiency by 2.75 percent, which will result in an annual reduction of about six fewer trains of coal needed to generate the electricity the plant produces for customers.

At the Louisa Generating Station near Muscatine, Iowa, work is underway on a $170 million scrubber and baghouse project that will reduce the plant's sulfur dioxide emissions by 85 percent when the improvements are scheduled to be completed in late 2007.

When the scheduled work is completed at all of MidAmerican's coal-fueled power plants, the company's 2010 nitrogen oxides emissions are projected to be reduced by 50 percent from 1995 levels, sulfur dioxide emissions are expected to be reduced by 60 percent and mercury emissions are projected to be reduced by 65 percent.

"The work MidAmerican Energy is doing at its power plants is good for our customers, good for the environment and is being done while keeping our customers' electric rates stable," Brewer said. MidAmerican Energy's customers have not experienced an electric rate increase since 1995, and the company has promised to keep its Iowa electric rates - the cost per kilowatt-hour of electricity - at current levels through at least 2010. The company also does not have any planned electric rate increases for its Illinois customers.

MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa's largest energy company, provides electric service to 706,000 customers and natural gas service to 687,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican is available on the Internet at www.midamericanenergy.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 1, 2006
Words:526
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