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posted: 10/18/2012 11:44 AM

Duke starting to test Indiana gasification plant

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Associated Press

EDWARDSPORT, Ind. -- Duke Energy says it is ready to start testing major parts of the troubled coal-gasification plant it's building in southwestern Indiana.

Duke officials say the plant near the Knox County town of Edwardsport has been operating on natural gas and that they're set to switch to the synthetic gas produced through the gasification process.

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That gas will sometimes ignite a flare that can be bright and loud, but plant manager Jack Stultz tells the Vincennes Sun-Commercial that is normal and won't indicate any problems.

The company says it expects flare ignitions during the testing and startup process over the next several months.

Duke has faced numerous engineering and construction problems that it blames for $1.3 billion in cost overruns in what is now a $3.3 billion project.

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