The bonds were made possible through quick work by the Jefferson County commissioners and the Progress Alliance economic development organization earlier this year.
A company spokesman said the bond issue and project will be the subject of a proposal presentation to the power cooperative's board of directors when they meet Nov. 8 in Columbus.
If approved then, the bond sale could take place in December.
The scrubber project will be a unique one for the United States, using a system that has been used in European coal-fired power plants for some time. Instead of a new flue being constructed to serve Unit 3, which is the furthest south power turbine at Cardinal, the scrubbed flue gas will be fed through the squat concrete cooling tower on the site. Scrubbed gas from the other units is fed to a new chimney that was built next to Cardinal's No. 1 unit, which is owned by American Electric Power.
Spokesman Steve Oden said if all goes according to schedule and the bonds are sold, construction work could pick up in 2011 with the bulk of work taking place in 2012, in hopes of having the scrubber unit online by the end of that year.
To allow the financing to be obtained, the Jefferson County commissioners, with work from the Progress Alliance economic development organization, had to approve a Recovery Zone for the county. That was done in April.
The designation allowed Buckeye Power to seek tax-exempt bonds through the federal stimulus program and had to show the area has high unemployment and financial distress to qualify for the Recovery Zone designation.
Ed Looman, executive director of Progress Alliance, said the commissioners should be praised for their willingness to work quickly to help the project stay on track with tight deadlines to meet.
"It was done extremely quickly. Our commissioners' rapid action turned this around quickly enough for us to meet the deadline. Their willingness and cooperation with us was what enabled us to get the designation and get the ball rolling," Looman said.
"Everything that happens from here regarding jobs and spending on the project and the long-term presence of that power plant wouldn't have happened if the commissioners hadn't worked with me to make this happen in a very short amount of time.
Oden said, "Jefferson County has been very supportive of us. We are proud to be there for the long term. People talk about clean coal like it will happen in the future. It's already there today. We will be burning a lot of Ohio-mined coal in the plant."
Looman noted there will be a short-term boost in the construction and related trades for the construction.
"We have seen the benefits of those kinds of jobs on similar projects at the Sammis Plant and the other units at the Cardinal Plant. Buckeye Power should be commended for their ongoing commitment to Jefferson County," Looman said.
(Giannamore can be contacted at email@example.com.)