COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 21, 2000 – As the first component of an emerging environmental compliance plan that will address federal requirements to control nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) is beginning a $175 million project to install selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology on its two-unit Gen. James M. Gavin plant near Cheshire, Ohio.

The project is expected to reduce the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission rate at the Gavin Plant to 0.15 pounds per million BTUs, which is approximately 70 percent below its current emission rate. The total reduction of NOx with the addition of the SCR systems during the May-September ozone season is projected to be 20,000 tons. This new reduction follows a 50 percent reduction in the emission rate required by the 1990 Title IV Acid Rain Reduction requirements.

"The project is the first commitment of our ongoing efforts to identify the most effective and efficient means to improve the environmental performance of our power plant fleet," said John F. Norris, Jr., AEP´s senior vice president of operations & technical services. "We are building on the work we have already accomplished in reducing NOx emissions at our plants."

Norris noted that the company has already invested more than $160 million over the last five years for the installation of low-NOx burners on its fleet. As a result, NOx emissions have been reduced by approximately 200,000 tons per year below uncontrolled levels.

Gavin Plant was chosen for the project because it is one of the company´s largest power stations, because engineering and design work for the plant is largely complete, and because SCR represents the best technology option for plants equipped with flue-gas desulfurization equipment (scrubbers).

According to Norris, the company has already started some preliminary site preparation and will begin actual construction in early July. The company intends to have the Gavin SCR units in operation in 2001. The project will employ 400 to 450 construction workers at its peak.
Norris indicated that, at present, the best available technology for reducing NOx at many AEP plants is the SCR technology. It uses a chemical reaction to break down the NOx present in the exhaust gases that are released during the coal combustion process. Ammonia is added to the flue gases, which are then channeled through a catalyst that breaks down the gases into elemental nitrogen and water.

Approximately 360,000 gallons of ammonia will be stored on site in six storage tanks. The ammonia will be shipped to the plant by rail and by truck.

Because ammonia is used in the process, part of the project involves the creation of a formal Risk Management Plan to address the safe handling and storage of ammonia at the plant site.

The Risk Management Plan process incorporates specific mechanisms for involvement by the local emergency planning agency and public education and information sessions to promote community awareness of the risks associated with such operations. The process will also outline the preventative and emergency preparedness measures developed to address those risks.

"We plan to work closely with the communities near the Gavin Plant to ensure that proper safeguards are in place that will protect the health and well-being of our employees and area residents under any plant operating condition," Norris explained.

Norris also indicated that the company is continually working to explore and evaluate new, advanced technology options for managing its power plant emissions. Additional emission control actions will be announced as the comprehensive compliance plan evolves.

American Electric Power is a multinational energy company based in Columbus, Ohio. AEP is one of the United States´ largest generators of electricity with more than 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity. AEP is also one of the nation´s leading wholesale energy marketers and traders. AEP delivers electricity to more than 4.8 million customers in 11 states -- Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. The company serves more than 4 million customers outside the U.S. through holdings in Australia, Brazil, China, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Wholly owned subsidiaries are involved in power engineering and construction services, energy management and telecommunications.

For More Information Contact:
Pat D. Hemlepp
Manager, Media Relations
American Electric Power

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