Air Quality Upgrades Coming to Lawrence Energy Center

Black & Veatch Upgrading Vintage Air Quality Equipment for Westar Energy

Lawrence, Kan. (1 October 2009) - More than 40 years after designing the nation's first air quality control system that reduced acid rain-forming emissions, Black & Veatch is designing and overseeing construction for upgrades to the original equipment at the Lawrence Energy Center. The company is also integrating new air quality control technology that will eliminate ash and other small particle emissions from the plant.

The energy center produces about 19 percent of the annual energy consumed by Westar's 684,000 customers.

"Upgrades at the Lawrence Energy Center are just one more step in our effort to make all of our plants even cleaner while allowing us to continue to meet our customers' energy needs," said Doug Sterbenz, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Westar Energy.

Dean Oskvig, President and CEO of Black & Veatch's global energy business, agrees that air quality control upgrade and retrofit projects provide clients and their customers with sustainable value. "The Lawrence Energy Center generates safe, reliable and affordable power for Westar's customers. Upgrading the air quality equipment with today's more advanced technology enables Westar to further reduce emissions from the plant while continuing to deliver low-cost electricity to their customers."

Westar has been a Black & Veatch client since the 1950s through its predecessor company, Kansas Power & Light.

The air quality control upgrades are scheduled for completion in 2012.

Technical Notes:
o Black & Veatch is designing pulse jet fabric filtration systems on Units 4 and 5 of the Lawrence Energy Center, as well as upgrades to the units' wet scrubber systems. Black & Veatch will manage construction of these upgrades as well.
o Fabric filtration systems, also known as baghouses, collect particulates, such as ash, as the flue gas runs through it.
o Wet scrubber systems use a mixture of limestone and water to remove most of the sulfur dioxide from a plant's flue gas. Sulfur dioxide can react with other atmospheric gases to form acid rain.
o Black & Veatch designed the original wet scrubber systems on Units 4 and 5. Unit 4's system became operational in 1968 and was the first sulfur dioxide scrubber in the United States. In 1971, Unit 5's scrubber system was the first sulfur dioxide scrubber in the United States to be installed as original equipment on a fossil fuel generating plant.

About Westar Energy, Inc (NYSE: WR)

Westar Energy is the largest consolidated electric utility in Kansas, providing electric service to more than 684,000 customers in the state. Westar Energy has about 6,800 megawatts of electric generation capacity and operates and coordinates more than 35,000 miles of electric distribution and transmission lines.

About Black & Veatch

Black & Veatch is a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company specializing in infrastructure development in energy, water, telecommunications, management consulting, federal and environmental markets. Founded in 1915, Black & Veatch develops tailored infrastructure solutions that meet clients' needs and provide sustainable benefits. Solutions are provided from the broad line of service expertise available within Black & Veatch, including conceptual and preliminary engineering services, engineering design, procurement, construction, financial management, asset management, program management, construction management, environmental, security design and consulting, management consulting and infrastructure planning. With $3.2 billion in revenue, the employee-owned company has more than 100 offices worldwide and has completed projects in more than 100 countries on six continents.

Black & Veatch Media Contact:
Linda Lea,
+1 913 458 4629,
Black & Veatch 24-hour Media Hotline: +1 866 496 9149

For additional information, visit our Web sites:

All Topics