GM Using Landfill Gas To Power Fort Wayne Plant

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) -- General Motors Corp. is spending $11 million at its Fort Wayne truck assembly plant to create a small power plant that would use landfill gas to supply 40 percent of the factory's electricity.

The project will increase the use of gas from a landfill about nine miles away that began in 2002 when the factory began using it to create steam for the 4,000-worker factory that assembles Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.

General Motors has already had a larger pipeline installed to the landfill and the new project will increase the plant's reliance on landfill-derived energy by four-fold, company spokeswoman Stephanie Jentgen told The Journal Gazette.

The closed-loop system is designed to keep the unpleasant odor of methane gas contained.

"You absolutely can't smell it," Jentgen said.

The project at the factory a few miles southwest of Fort Wayne is part of GM effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions connected with it and the Lake Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan.

The landfill gas is essentially a waste product that the GM plant will be capturing.

"To use it in a combustion engine to generate electricity, then there's not that flaring aspect of that landfill gas over at the landfill," David Shenefield, the Fort Wayne factory's utilities manager, told WPTA-TV.

Company officials expect to have the Fort Wayne generating plant in operation by May.

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