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Venture gains power deal Trigen-Cinergy to provide electricity, steam to Millennium


With the promise of more than $1 million in savings each year, Trigen-Cinergy Solutions LLC has won a 15-year contract to provide electricity and steam for Millennium Inorganic Chemicals' Hawkins Point plant.

The utility company, a joint venture between Trigen Energy Corp. of White Plains, N.Y., and Cincinnati's Cinergy Corp., will install a combined heat and power (CHP) plant at Millennium's facility. CHP plants are considered more efficient because they trap and use excess power that is often lost in other energy-production processes.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The U.S. Department of Energy earlier this month announced an initiative to double the use of CHPs by the year 2010.

According to the Energy Department, CHP plants have efficiency rates that are often more than 70 percent, vs. the 33 percent rate of typical power plants.

"It's like taking a car that gets 20 miles to the gallon and putting in technology that does 40 miles per gallon," said James J. Abromitis, Trigen-Baltimore's president.

"I think bigger is better," Abromitis said. "Along with the Coors Brewery in Colorado, this is one of our first industrial projects."

Millennium is the world's second-largest producer of titanium dioxide, a whitening agent found in a wide range of items including house paint and the writing on M&Ms.;

The 160-acre Hawkins Point plant employs about 600 people.

"Our selection of Trigen-Cinergy Solutions was based on the attractive savings they can provide and their proven track record of industrial co-generation projects," John L. Davis, Millennium's director of manufacturing for Hawkins Point, said in a statement.

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., which currently provides power to Hunt Valley-based Millennium, also bid on the deal with its own CHP proposal.

Mike Delaney, a spokesman for BGE, said he couldn't comment on the specifics of the bid.

"But I would say it's a good example of why we support deregulation," he said. "It's an example of competition and customer choice."

Trigen-Cinergy will spend between $11 million and $13 million to set up the power plant, Abromitis said, and will expect the cost to be recovered in about five years. The plant is expected to be up and running by the second half of 1999.

"By doubling efficiency you save money and reduce pollutants," he said. "One of the arguments that's been debated is people saying if you reduce greenhouse gases the economy will suffer. But we're reducing pollution and reducing costs that we pass on to the customer."

Trigen-Baltimore owns four downtown plants that heat 350 downtown buildings, including the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel and City Hall. It also has an in-house plant in the Blaustein Building that provides heat and electricity for the North Charles Street tower.

Trigen-Baltimore is also building a plant in Inner Harbor East to supply heat and other energy services to that project.

Pub Date: 12/15/98

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