Vectren Showcases Recycling Project at Posey County Power Plant

 When Vectren burns coal at its power plants, electricity isn't the only thing that's produced. The coal combustion process also produces fly ash, a particulate matter that the Evansville-based utility company must dispose of properly. Vectren's fly ash used to end up in ash ponds or landfills, but now it's being used as a component in the manufacture of concrete.
Wednesday at its A.B. Brown Power Plant in Posey County, Vectren showcased a $20 million fly ash recycling project that sends the ash to a Missouri concrete plant. The project has been in operation for about a year, but this week was the first time Vectren invited reporters to view the project. As part of the project, Vectren built a conveyor system that moves the fly ash from A.B. Brown to a holding silo, then to Ohio River barges that take the material to Geocycle U.S.'s concrete plant in Saint Genevieve, Mo.
(Corrier Press 12-8-2010) Vectren also sends Geocycle the fly ash from Vectren's F.B. Culley Power Plant in Newburgh. That fly ash is brought to Posey County by truck. "We're one of (Geocycle's) primary suppliers of fly ash," said Wayne Games, director of the A.B. Brown plant.
Vectren is in the second year of a 10-year agreement to provide up to 200,000 tons of fly ash annually to Geocycle. The fly ash is used instead of clay as an ingredient in making concrete. But not every coal-fired power plant can dispose of its fly ash in this way. All of the coal Vectren uses is from the Illinois Basin, and the utility company said that coal in particular is the only one which, when burned, produces fly ash with the properties necessary to make concrete. "We're really pioneers in this type of effort," Games said.
Vectren isn't making money from the deal, Games said. The utility company bears the cost of moving the fly ash from the power plant to the barge. From there, Geocycle pays to move the fly ash to its plant. But, Games said, Vectren does benefit from the setup because providing coal ash to Geocycle means the utility company doesn't have to pay to build new ash ponds or send the waste to landfills. "This is really going to save our customers money over the long run, as well as being good for the environment."
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