Nuclear power could supply Chattanooga with even more of a charge with the formal startup of a key Alstom plant.

Alstom-TN-PlantNuclear power, already an economic force in the Chattanooga area, could supply the city with even more of a charge with today’s formal startup of a key Alstom plant, officials say.

“It definitely positions Chattanooga well if it has a major facility for building some of the large components,” said Mitch Singer of the Nuclear Energy Institute in Washington, D.C.

Paris-based Alstom’s top corporate leadership along with Gov. Phil Bredesen are expected to take part in dedicating the $300 million Riverfront Parkway plant.

The facility is designed to build the world’s largest steam and gas turbines for power plants as well as retrofit existing facilities, according to Alstom officials.

Alstom brought in about 100 customers for a sneak preview of the plant and to talk about energy, said Amy Ericson, vice president market communications for Alstom’s power sector.

She said Alstom’s U.S. customers are excited about the new plant’s investment in their industry.

“They like the proximity of it very much,” Ms. Ericson said. “All up and down the middle corridor of the country are some of the largest nuclear and steam facilities.”

Ms. Ericson said the plant’s construction aligns with industry challenges to de-carbonize power and still supply the most reliable, and cheapest energy.

“It’s state-of-the art heavy industry,” she said. “It’s the ultimate in controls, quality and predictability.”

Mr. Singer said companies plowing money into the energy sector will help Chattanooga’s economy and spur creation of technical and engineering jobs.

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Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press
Photo: Doug Barnette | Chattanooga Times Free Press