GE Energy and Bechtel Corp have signed an agreement with Cinergy/PSI to begin with preliminary engineering and design work for a proposed 600 MW gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plant in Indiana.

The front-end engineering design (FEED) phase of the project is expected to take around one year to complete before a final decision on construction will be made after the engineering and design are complete and regulatory approvals have been granted.

PSI Energy, a Cinergy Corp unit, would own and operate the facility, which would be among the first commercial-scale IGCC plants to be built in the US in the last decade. Among several locations being considered for the project is the site of Cinergy/PSI’s coal-fired station in Edwardsport, also in Indiana.

GE and Bechtel have formed an IGCC alliance to develop a standard commercial offering for IGCC projects. If the project goes ahead GE Energy is expected to supply the IGCC technology for the new plant, while Bechtel would be responsible for engineering, procurement and construction.

“Cinergy’s decision to move to the next phase of its IGCC project is a strong sign of the growing acceptance for this technology among the nation’s leading power generators,” said Edward Lowe, general manager of GE Energy’s gasification business.