Past and current officials from the Sikeston Board of Municipal Utilities, the city of Sikeston and other community leaders gathered at the Sikeston Power Plant Wednesday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the plant's operation.
"In the last 25 years, we've put 25 billion kilowatt hours into the nation's power grid," said Ed Throop, executive director of the Sikeston BMU. "We have burned over 25 million tons of coal in the last 25 years and we have put more than $1 billion into the economy of this nation."
"It's a strong asset of the city," Mayor Mike Marshall said of the plant.
The Sikeston Power Plant, which replaced the E.P. Coleman power plant, "went commercial Sept. 1, 1981," Throop said.
"I came here in April 1978 and they had just started the site work," he recalled.
The cost for the Sikeston Power Plant, including required reserves and construction costs, was $250 million.
The plant's debt will be paid off in 2022, according to Throop. "That's the last year of the debt," he said.
Following the luncheon, BMU officials took visitors on a tour of the power plant's new $4.3 million boiler control system.
"We are among the most reliable plants in the country," said Chester Cardwell, plant manager, during a tour of the control room. "And we are among the more efficient plants in the country."
Throop noted that among those gathered for the ceremony and luncheon was E.R. Inman, BMU's general manger from 1966-1996 during which time the plant was built.
Of BMU's 144 total employees, 77 are employed at the power plant.