Richard Green (Patriotlad), Executive Editor of RMN, discusses the huge explosion that occurred at the 620MW Kleen Energy power plant under construction in Middletown, CT.
Chronology of events as posted on Maggie’s Notebook – Feb 7
Update 1 PM EST:
The plant manager, Gordon Holk, was not at the plant when the explosion occurred. He said the plant is a 620-megawatt gas-fired power plant.
FOXNews: “Dozens of ambulances and fire trucks on the scene. The plant was under construction.
From CBS: “State police were sending detectives.”
At least 50 construction workers were onsite.
Update 2:40 PM EST:
Governor Rell has activated Emergency Operations Center in Hartford, staffed by Homeland Security, the Department of Public Heath, the National Guard and the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management, as well as Urban Search and Rescue teams.
Update 3:40 PM EST:
This from Gregg Jarrett on FOXNews: “Fewer than 50 injured…some may have survived.”
Update 4:35 PM EST:
A report from FOXNews said the number of injured has has been revised to 14. There appears to be no roster of those working today. Authorities are trying to put that information together so they know who they are looking for.
Update 5:40 PM EST:
From the press conference in progress now. Twelve injured, 5 known to have lost their lives. Not all victim’s families have been notified. The air in the area is not a danger to those close by. There is no danger of other explosions. The plant was in the middle of a change-of-shifts. Search and Rescue are still working the area. The Red Cross is on the scene.
The explosion came after an attempted “blow down” of natural gas pipelines, which requires a “purging” of the lines.
Update about 8 PM EST:
From NY Daily News: A worker said he was knocked off a scaffolding about 50′ up. He saw a group of men below him “get flattened.” He said the injuries were terrible and he saw one man beheaded.
Reader comment to “Kleen Energy Plant in Middletown, CT, Explosion” posted on NowPublic.com:
Benjamin Napier (not verified)
at 08:03 on February 8th, 2010
This was a foul-up done by someone in charge. One NEVER purges gas lines with natural gas first. Second, one NEVER purges gas lines into a building. In this case it looks like the duct burners were on and the HRSG was filled with natural gas. Why weren’t the explosimeters on line and working? Not an oops, not a mistake. This is an act of criminal negligence. One NEVER sends gas into a system without knowing that every part of the system is tight and that ALL openings are accounted for and that engineering controls are in place to prevent flammable conditions from occurring in any enclosure.
*** BACKGROUND ARTICLES ***
‘Mass casualties’ feared in US power plant blast (AFP) Feb 7, 2010
Victims Identified In Middletown Explosion (The Hartford Courant) Feb 8, 2010
Connecticut Power-Plant Blast Investigation Continues (Bloomberg) Feb 8
Fitch Places Kleen Energy’s Term Loans on Watch Negative – (BUSINESS WIRE) Feb 8
Death Toll Climbs to Five in Connecticut Explosion (Lawyers And Settlements) Feb 8
Power plant explosion centers on safety – (Private Officer News) Feb 8
Report: 50 dead, 250 injured in Connecticut power plant blast (BNO News) Feb 8
US urged new safety standards days before Middletown explosion (The Christian Science Monitor) Feb 8
*** PROJECT HISTORY ***
Kleen Energy Plant and AAC Energy Independence (Kevin E. McCarthy) May 23, 2006
Connecticut selects four energy innovators (The Day, New London, CT) Apr 24, 2007
Kleen Energy: LICAP’s heir (Project Finance) May 1, 2008
North American Single Asset Power Deal of the Year 2008 (Project Finance) Mar 1, 2009
This Power Finance & Risk report dated June 22, 2009, stated that Goldman Sachs led syndication efforts in financing the power plant.
Kleen Energy Systems, LLC (Fitch Research) published Nov 20, 2009
About Energy Investors Funds
*** RELATED ARTICLES ***
Private equity firms like Energy Investors Funds are having a more difficult time raising funds. See: Vintage Wine Turns Sour for Financiers by Alex Daley and Doug Hornig, Editors, Casey Research, Feb 5, 2010.
Developer William Corvo was involved in a lawsuit in 2000 about property not connected with the power plant. See: City Is Roiled Over Razing of a Hill (The New York Times) July 5, 2000.