Commercial Development Company Inc. (CDC), a leading North American commercial real estate and brownfield redevelopment company and its affiliate company, Environmental Liability Transfer, Inc. (ELT), today announced the acquisition of a 725-acre retired coal-fired power plant from Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), a unit of American Electric Power (AEP). CDC and ELT have assumed responsibility for environmental liabilities associated with the site.
CDC will now reposition the “Tanners Creek” power plant and develop a market-ready plan to return the retired industrial asset to productive use and create new jobs for the community and surrounding area. CDC has received tremendous support for this ownership transfer and for the future redevelopment of the site from local and state leadership.
Earlier this month, the Ports of Indiana identified the retired power plant site as a favorable location for the development of the state’s fourth port. CDC is currently working closely with the Ports of Indiana to determine the logistical viability of developing a port at this location. CDC has further committed that the Ports of Indiana will have the exclusive opportunity to investigate the site for port development.
During Indiana’s 2016 State of the State address, Governor Mike Pence urged the Ports of Indiana to “vigorously explore the building of a fourth port in the far southeastern part of our state, which could unleash enormous economic investment throughout the southeast region of our state.” Source: http://www.in.gov/gov/2016stateofstate.htm
“We have identified the retired Lawrenceburg power plant as a potential site for future port development and we could not have gotten to this point without the support and assistance from AEP and CDC,” said Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana. “CDC has tremendous experience with redevelopment and remediation projects, which coupled with our team’s maritime and logistical expertise, creates a unique opportunity to pursue development of a port at this location. It’s too early to say what can be constructed here, but we’re excited to have the exclusive right to further investigate this site with CDC. We’ve already had inquiries from companies that may have interest in locating or shipping products at this site, which is definitely encouraging for future development.”
“Pursuing the development of a new port in southeast Indiana will help drive growth for our 21st century agriculture and advanced manufacturing sectors and attract continued business investment to our state,” said Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb. “The Ohio River has always provided strategic advantages for this region, and Indiana has a strong record of leveraging our transportation assets into economic strength.”
CDC believes the strategic attributes and logistical infrastructure at this site represent the potential to facilitate a large-scale port development.
The “Tanners Creek” power plant is located in Lawrenceburg at the intersection of three Midwest states: Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. The site has direct riverfront access to the Ohio River, connections to highway and rail, and is located within close proximity to major hub cities such as Cincinnati, Louisville, Columbus, and Indianapolis. These attributes represent a strategic opportunity for port and logistics related development activity.
In May 2015, after more than six decades of use, the Tanners Creek power plant was decommissioned. An environmental liability transfer and remediation plan proposed by CDC will now enable the site to be repositioned for new development. CDC believes its remediation efforts will facilitate new economic growth for the cities of Lawrenceburg and Aurora and Dearborn County, as well as the greater Southeast Indiana-Cincinnati region.
EnviroAnalytics Group (EAG), another CDC affiliate company, will now commence a series of remediation projects including: soil and groundwater remediation, asbestos abatement, ash pond closure, removal of residual coal, environmental monitoring, and demolition of most of the existing structures. The expected timeline for completion is approximately 3-5 years, at which point the site will be ready for vertical development. EAG is working with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to finalize a remedial plan that will clear the way for new development activity.
“Indiana Michigan Power’s dedicated Tanners Creek employees and their families have been proud to be part of the community for over six decades,” said Paul Chodak III, President and Chief Operating Officer of I&M. “While I&M’s expertise in generating power is no longer needed at this site, ELT will use their talents to prepare the site for potential future use and continued benefit to the community.”
I&M’s “Tanners Creek” began operations in 1951 and was twice named the most efficient steam plant in the world. The plant is located in Lawrenceburg, Indiana along “Tanners Creek” which flows into the Ohio River. The plant had a generation capacity of 995 megawatts of electricity when operational. The plant’s last operating unit retired in May 2015. For a detailed history of the Tanners Creek Power Plant, please reference AEP’s website: https://www.aep.com/environment/PlantRetirements/TannersCreek.aspx.
“We consider this 725-acre site in Lawrenceburg to be a tremendous opportunity for new development, and we are very excited to see the economic and environmental benefits this transaction brings to the tri-state area” said Doug Willett, Executive Vice President at Environmental Liability Transfer, Inc. “Our acquisition and environmental liability assumption of this strategically-located site is the first step toward repurposing this property and returning it to productive use.”
Q&A on the 4th port
The Beacon asked State Rep. Randy Frye, who has been working on the possibility for a 4th port in Southeast Indiana for several years, questions about what’s next:
What will be happening at the site for the next several months?
Clean-up of the existing site and dismantling of the coal-fired power plant. Jobs will be created as the demolition occurs.
What sort of infrastructure improvements would there be outside the port? Would these present immediate economic opportunities as the port plan develops?
I believe new roads will be required as well as upgrades in infrastructure — water, electric, gas, etc.
Is there a general timeline as to each phase of development of the port?
The port will progress depending on the cleanup of the property and the availability of land currently clean. These decisions will be made by Ports of Indiana.
It has been said that the port is more than just loading and offloading barges. What is the vision for this port?
The port will take several years to develop. The goal is to recruit companies which ship or receive on the Ohio River. The large industrial complex will be able to contain several large businesses. Some will locate inside the port but do not ship on the water. They’re there because their suppliers are there and their transportation costs are minimal. Communities along the railroad will also benefit. Others will use rail and or road transportation. Manufacturing will be the main product of the port. Steel, grain, aggregates, will all exist within its boundaries.