First Reserve commits $1.8bn to power project

The US energy investment specialist is backing eco-friendly power generation facilities.

First Reserve, a US-based private equity firm focused on the energy sector, and GenPower, which develops electrical generation plants in the US, are joining forces to pursue investment opportunities in power generation facilities globally.

The new company, GenPower Holdings, is investing $1.8 billion (€1.44 billion) in Longview coal project in Maidsville, West Virginia, making it one of the largest investments in that state, according to a statement.

To combat the affects of acid mine drainage water, GenPower has established a non-profit business called AMD Reclamation.

The unit is building a water supply treatment facility and plans to begin construction on a second one this fall, according to the statement.

It will manage these facilities once they are completed.

Through a foundation to be established with the Sierra Club and Trout Unlimited, the Longview project will also contribute to the reforestation of West Virginia’s strip mining lands. Water treatment will also be a focus of the new foundation’s projects, making the Longview plant one of the cleanest and most efficient of its kind in the US.

Residents near the Longview plant’s site have opposed the project, but West Virginia’s Public Service Commission approved it on June 26.

First Reserve Corporation, led by William McCauly, formed NFR Energy with Nabors Industries last month. This joint venture pursues oil and gas opportunities globally.