TEMPLE (July 18, 2012)—Dallas-based Panda Power Funds announced Wednesday financing has been secured to build a 758-megawatt power plant in Temple that will have a $1.6 billion impact on the local economy over a decade and will mean about 800 construction jobs.
“It has been an uphill battle, in a very difficult financial market, to get this project off the drawing board and out of the ground,” said Todd W. Carter, president and senior partner of Panda Power Funds.
“Since the beginning, our team never lost sight that Texas needs the power. Thanks to our financial partners, our Panda team and the strong backing of state and local officials, the State of Texas will soon be the beneficiary of critically needed electricity, more jobs and greater economic development.”
The natural-gas-fueled combined-cycle facility will be built in two 600-megawatt phases, each consisting of two combustion turbines and one steam turbine, the company said.
The construction and operation of the plant is expected to contribute $1.6 billion to the local economy over the course of a decade, an analysis by Impact Data Source of Austin shows.
When it’s finished in 2014, it will mean more than two-dozen direct jobs to run the plant and 45 indirect jobs to support it, the company said.
“The Panda Temple plant will enlarge payrolls, expand the tax base and drive revenues for contractors, suppliers, service providers, hotels, restaurants, retailers and a host of other businesses,” said Lee Peterson, president of the Temple Economic Development Corp.
Bechtel and Siemens Energy Inc. are part of the consortium for the plant, which is expected to supply about 750,000 customers in Texas.
“Panda Energy is exactly what we in Temple look for in a new corporate citizen. Since first coming to Temple, they have shown us that they are serious developers of power for our state and that they know how to be a strong citizen of a community,” Temple Mayor Bill Jones III said.
The company first announced plans for the plant in December 2007 and said the plant would be built on a 250-acre site in the Synergy Industrial Park
In October 2008, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality granted an air permit for the plant.
The 30-year-old company operates facilities in the U.S. and abroad.
It built the two largest gas-fueled merchant electric generation facilities in the country, was responsible for the first U.S.-sponsored, internationally financed run-of-the-river hydroelectric project in the state of Nepal; and obtained the first U.S. capital markets financing for construction of a power plant in The People's Republic of China,” the company’s website says.
The company has raised more than $5 billion total to develop and build power plants.