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LONGVIEW, WA-Enron has sold its development rights for a 290-megawatt power plant at the Port of Longview to Continental Energy Services LLC, of Butte, Mont., a source at Continental confirmed for GlobeSt.com. this week.

Continental bought the rights from Enron in a sale approved by the court handling the massive Enron bankruptcy, but will not move forward with development until it secures a user. “In the old days everybody was building merchant plants because there seemed to be an unlimited need for power,” says the source at Continental. “We would need commitments.”

The rights were bought from Enron subsidiary Longview Energy Development Project LLC, which optioned on 20 acres at the Port and secured most of the required permits. The Enron subsidiary had envisioned the plant as an eventual 580-megawatt facility, but had only obtained approvals for a 290-megawatt facility, says the source at Continental.

Enron was one of at least 10 Western U.S. power plants proposed during the Northwest power crisis and then delayed or canceled in the last year as energy prices fell back to Earth.

Across town at the city-owned Mint Farm Industrial Park, Mirant Corp. in August suspended construction of its power plant. Work on the 270-megawatt, combined-cycle gas fired facility began in October 2001. Completion was scheduled for June 2003. The 11-acre project is approximately 34% complete.

Also in August, Duke Energy stopped construction of its $300 million power plant in nearby Satsop, Wash. Work on the 650-megawatt plant, which also began last October, was about 40% complete.

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