Work continues on the future site of the Conesville Industrial Park
- Boiler Number 4 at the former American Electric Power plant outside Conesville was imploded on Saturday morning.
- It was the largest of six boilers on site, producing 6 million pounds of steam per hour. Three boilers still remain and two others were razed in December 2021.
- The plant closed in May 2020 and the Frontier Group of Companies took over in June to create the Conesville Industrial Park.
- Remediation of coal land will be about another two years with the main site area ready for new businesses in 9 to 15 months.
CONESVILLE − Demolition of structures at the former American Electric Power plant just outside Conesville continued over the weekend with Boiler Number 4 being imploded.
What was known as a super critical boiler in the power generation industry came down about 9 a.m. Saturday. Many Coshocton County residents on social media mentioned hearing the implosion and and their houses being shook by the impact.
Standing at 245 feet tall, the boiler was one of six at the former 2,085-megawatt power generation facility, where coal was burned to produce steam to turn turbines to create electricity.
Boiler Number 4 had the largest steam capacity of the six on site, generating 6 million pounds of steam an hour. Boilers 5 and 6, which were much smaller, only generated 3.2 million pounds of steam per hour. They were removed in December. Boilers 1, 2 and 3 still remain on the site for now.
Three towering concrete stacks that once puffed steam were demolished last December as well. The 805-foot structures were cited by new property owners as the most visual reminders of the former plant, which closed in May 2020 after 62 years of operation.
The Frontier Group of Companies, whose core business is Frontier Industrial Corps., took over about 2,500 acres in June 2020, including the main buildings, with plans to raze most structures and remediate the coal land. The proposed Conesville Industrial Park will eventually occupy the site and will feature space for a variety of businesses with a 50-megawatt solar array, with road and utility access.
FGC Business Development Director Patrick Ford said in August there is about two years of remediation work left, but the area where the plant stood should be ready within nine to 15 months. He called the industrial park appealing to many companies because of its access to road, rail and water for transport.
“Boiler Number 4 dominated the landscape of this 80-plus acre building pad in our planned industrial park,” said Frontier Group CEO David Franjoine. “Although a common implosion for our company, this drop was a significant milestone for us as our 2,500-acre mega site comes into perspective.”
FGC has been working closely with local and state officials to recruit industries to the site. Industry prospects have been visiting to consider the site for a variety of business and manufacturing uses. No announcements have been made yet on what businesses might be coming.
“Large industrial sites, with heavy power capacity, are scarce throughout the region,” said Coshocton Port Authority Executive Director Tiffany Swigert. “Our strategy has been to collaborate with the Frontier Group of Companies to create build-ready pads to quickly respond to a prospect needing rail, large amounts of water or heavy power.”
Leonard Hayhurst is a community content coordinator and general news reporter for the Coshocton Tribune with close to 15 years of local journalism experience and multiple awards from the Ohio Associated Press. He can be reached at 740-295-3417 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @llhayhurst.