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Community hears dim outlook for plant

Don Shaw, CEO and general manager of Central Electric Power Co-op, speaks to Chamois community members about the Chamois Power Plant’s projected value.

Don Shaw, CEO and general manager of Central Electric Power Co-op, speaks to Chamois community members about the Chamois Power Plant’s projected value. Photo by Jessica Duren.

CHAMOIS, Mo. — It started and ended with a prayer, but the discussion throughout the meeting offered little hope.

Community members turned out by the dozens Thursday evening to look at the obstacles the community’s coal-fired power plant faces in the coming years.

Don Shaw, CEO and general manager of Central Electric Power Co-op, presented the challenges at hand through word and graph.

“My mission here is to inform and add clarity. No decision has been made to close the plant,” Shaw stressed.

The CEO informed the plant workers of the possible closure earlier this month after seeing preliminary studies. He said he felt an obligation to make the findings known as soon as possible.

“It’s their plant, it’s their lives,” he said.

The 60-year-old coal plant is facing closure for six main reasons, including delivered coal cost increases, EPA regulations compliance costs, rail siding construction cost, operations and maintenance costs, availability of lower cost natural gas generation, and no market for Chamois capacity.

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