Panda Energy announces start of construction on Sherman plant

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Panda Energy announced today they've received financing to build the new Sherman plant.

Sherman Economic Development Corporation struck a deal with Panda Energy to build in Sherman back in 2008.

SEDCO President Scott Connell said he's pleased to announce construction is finally getting underway.

"It's about a $350 million investment, which is a very large investment," he said. "And they're also gonna be a a large water customer of the city of Sherman, so it will have impact for the school district, the county, the city, and the college. It's a really great long term investment for the market."

Connell said the plant construction will bring in around 600 jobs over the next couple years. Panda said it'll create more than 70 permanent jobs once it's open.

Panda said the natural gas-powered plant will contribute $1.7 billion to the local economy in the first 10 years and will power up to 750,000 homes.

Sherman Mayor Bill Magers said that income will have a major impact on the city.

"Through property taxes and water, over $1 million a year in revenue for Sherman, Texas," he said. "It's gonna create jobs, gonna create a power facility for growth in the north Texas area. It's a great, great opportunity for all of us here in Sherman."

The plant will be located in Progress Park III, near FM 1417 and Hwy 75. Panda said they plan to have the plant up and running by the end of 2014.

But Magers said getting the plant to locate here was no small task.

"This was a four year effort, everything from negotiating the water price, to making sure that we had the proper quantities, to gas pipelines," he said. "Very, very complicated project."

Magers said the city is just happy to have it official and one step closer to opening for business.

"Someone asked me several weeks ago when I thought it was gonna happen," he said. "And I said 'well when the CEO comes to visit your town, you know you're probably getting good news.'"

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