American Electric Power will begin construction of new emission control systems at two of its power plants in West Virginia. The controls will reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions on each affected generating unit by about 90%. When in operation, the controls are expected to produce an overall reduction in NOx emissions from the two units of approximately 20,000 tons per year. “We plan to move forward with construction of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) units on Unit 3 of our John E. Amos Plant at St. Albans, W.Va., and on the single unit at the Mountaineer Plant at New Haven, W.Va.,” said John F. Norris, AEP’s senior vice president of operations & technical services. Both units are rated at 1300mw. Construction on the two projects is slated to begin in the near future, with completion targeted for 2002. The total investment in the two projects is estimated at approximately USD 230 million. The company will use a urea-to-ammonia system for the SCRs’ ammonia supply. The urea-based system is identical to the system that is being built at the company’s Gen. James M. Gavin Plant at Cheshire, Ohio. The innovative system eliminates health and safety concerns associated with the long-term delivery and storage of the anhydrous ammonia used in conventional SCR systems. SCR uses a chemical reaction to break down the NOx present in the exhaust gases that are released during the coal combustion process. The NOx is broken down into elemental nitrogen and water.