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Health & Science

Negotiations Stall Over Proposed Coal Plant’s Water Supply

An effort to build a new power plant in Matagorda County has been delayed. The problem is that the coal-plant developers can't reach an agreement with the Lower Colorado River Authority. KUHF Health Science and Technology reporter Carrie Feibel has more.



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If built, the White Stallion coal plant near Bay City would pull more than eight billion gallons of fresh water every year from the Colorado River.

In June, the developers were ready to sign a purchase agreement with the Lower Colorado River Authority.

But the LCRA delayed the vote until August.

“Any sort of delay can adversely affect these large infrastructure projects.”

Randy Bird is White Stallion’s chief operating officer. He says that in the intervening weeks, one investor pulled out, but others are being lined up.

“But we’re going to have to bring them up to speed and it’s going to take time to get them in place, so it really relies on when the water contract is signed.”

Bird says the investors are still prepared to pay $55 million up front for a water contract.

But they asked for more time to make the payments. The LCRA says there are too many requested changes, and the agency cancelled the vote scheduled for next week.

Environmentalists are thrilled with the delay.

 “This is a good day for Matagorda County and all the people up and down the Colorado River.”

Allison Sliva lives in Bay City. She leads the coalition that is fighting the coal plant.

“I just don’t see how we can expect these guys to build a $4 billion coal plant when they can’t even put up some money to pay for the water.”

But Randy Bird says the project still makes financial sense.

He says just look at how high demand for power has risen in Texas, even in the past three days.

“It’s a good time to be in the electric generating business. We have no shortage of people that are interested in buying power from the project or investing in the project. It just take time to go through the due diligence process.”

From the KUHF Health Science and Technology Desk, I’m Carrie Feibel.

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