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New owner for power plant

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The Eastman Business Park. - PHOTO BY MATT DETURCK

The utility system at Eastman Business Park has a buyer, and that buyer will make upgrades to the park's dedicated power plant.

Recycled Energy Development has agreed to buy the park's utility system for $10 million, according to a press release issued this morning by Kodak. RED will also operate the system. In addition to the power plant and electric system, the utilities include steam, compressed air, refrigeration, wastewater treatment, and nitrogen.

The park's power plant is an attractive asset for some businesses, but it needs costly upgrades to meet looming state and federal emissions standards. Officials have been working behind the scenes to find a way to make the upgrades.

Kodak spokesperson Christopher Veronda says government officials will remain involved in the deal. The sale requires the approval of the state Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities. Veronda says Kodak's bankruptcy case should not affect the sale.

As part of the deal, Recycled Energy Development will invest $40 million to $80 million to convert the coal-fired power plant to natural gas.

"This will increase the cogeneration system's efficiency, allowing us to continue to supply reliable and economical utilities services to the 37 tenants at Eastman Business Park, along with Kodak," said Sean Casten, Recycled Energy Development CEO, in a press release.

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