Coal-gasification plant price tag climbs to $2.5 billion

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Duke Energy Corp. said the cost of the coal-gasification power plant it’s building in southwestern Indiana has risen another
$150 million, boosting the project’s estimated price to $2.5 billion.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy said Tuesday
the 630-megawatt plant’s cost has gone up because its design has required more steel, piping, electric cable and other materials
than originally expected. And the latest increase won’t be the project’s last.

Duke Energy Indiana President Jim
Stanley said the utility will provide another cost revision by next March covering labor, engineering, procurement and plant
startup costs.

This week’s price increase and future increases must be approved by state regulators before they
can be passed onto Duke ratepayers.

The proposed Rockport plant would turn coal into natural gas and decrease the
release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which some believe contribute to global warming.

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