Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Longview Power Plant

West Virginia, May 30, 2007 /WBOY – Lauren Hills/ — It was a ceremony six years in the making.

“A big day of bringing in a $1.8 billion investment into the state of West Virginia,” said Chris Colbert, Longview Power Plant acting general manager.

Construction on the Longview Power plant began in March, but Wednesday’s groundbreaking marked the official start of the project.

When completed, Longview will be a 600 mega-watt coal fired plant, taking up 200 acres in the Fort Martin area of Monongalia County.

“It guarantees construction job of 1,400 at its peak,” said Colbert.

However, this nearly $2 billion investment hasn’t been without controversy. Many residents in the area have been opposed to the Longview project, expressing concerns about air quality and quality of life.

Governor Joe Manchin said while he understands their concerns, the project will mean a lot of good for the area.

“You have to trust the congressionals and people that look at all aspects of it and understand it has more upsides then downsides,” he said.

Longview officials said they’ve worked to make the plant environmentally acceptable.

A few weeks ago, Monongalia County schools received more than $3 million as a payment from the Longview Power Plant. That money will go to help with construction at the new University High School and renovations at Morgantown High School.

The power plant is expected to be complete by 2011.

Copyright 2007 West Virginia Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.