The City of Lubbock is in the Middle of a $7Million Lawsuit - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/19/02

The City of Lubbock is in the Middle of a $7Million Lawsuit

The fight is over a broken turbine, which produces energy, and a rusty gas pipe. The petition says Energas and S&S Energy (under GE Packard Power) did not properly build and maintain the equipment. As a result, the city of Lubbock and West Texas Municipal Power Agency lost millions of dollars, and they both want their money back.

In 1998, the city of Lubbock and West Texas Municipal Power Agency signed a deal with two companies: Energas and GE Power. GE built a gas turbine and Energas laid down a gas pipeline for the city's Massengale LP&L Power Plant.

In 1999, the turbine was ready to go, but was shut down because it failed inspection. An inspector found the turbine was damaged by rust deposits from the pipeline which may have slipped through a gas filter. The inspector implied the filter may have not been installed correctly by GE.

Workers repaired the turbine and in 2000, the turbine was ready for its second start up. But again, the turbine did not function as it was designed to perform. In the petition, the city and WTMPA say they are suing for more than $7 million. The city says that's enough to cover the cost of repairs. It would also reimburse the city and WTMPA for the money spent on other electric power sources while the turbine was not working.

In the petition, GE and Energas say the problem was not their fault. A source tells NewsChannel 11 the city settled with GE earlier this week. We don't know the settlement amount. GE Power did not return our phone call. We also contacted Matt Wade with the city's legal department. Wade could not comment on the lawsuit.

Another court hearing has been set for next month. The West Texas Municipal Power Agency is a joint energy supplier for Lubbock, Brownfield, Tulia, and Floydada.

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