Entergy Arkansas is tearing down a shuttered power plant in Forrest City, part of its overall modernization process, the company announced Monday.
The Hamilton Moses plant, visible from Highway 70 about five miles west of Forrest City, was retired in 2013. The two-unit plant was capable of burning fuel oil or natural gas to generate electricity, but mostly burned natural gas over its lifetime. It went into service in 1951.
The closing process, begun last month, started with construction of an tentlike airtight envelope around the plant. That will allow the safe removal of materials, primarily asbestos, and keep them contained, the company said.
This first phase of the demolition will run through the summer, according to an Entergy news release. After the containment tent comes down, Phase 2 will bring in heavy equipment to fully dismantle all structures. All metal components will be cut into pieces small enough to be trucked away for recycling.
About 70 specially trained employees of Entergy’s contractor, Brandenburg Industrial Service Co. of Chicago, will take apart the power station, whose namesake has a colorful history.
The facility was named for Hamilton “Ham” Moses, who was an attorney for Arkansas Power & Light founder Harvey Couch. Moses succeeded Couch as the second president of AP&L, which eventually became Entergy Arkansas. A lively account of his life appears in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.
When demolition is complete, the property will be considered a “brownfield” site, suitable for other uses. The only utility item that will remain will be a substation, a new facility completed in June of 2019.
Entergy Arkansas, the state’s largest electric utility, has 700,000 customers in 63 of Arkansas’ 75 counties.