By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer
Red Hills Operations made their debut into Choctaw County with a celebration held on May 15.
They held the celebration at the Choctaw County Community Center, with the help of the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce, and welcomed the public and community members to learn more about Red Hills Operations.
Red Hills Operations is operating the coal-fired power plant at the Choctaw County Excoplex that GDF Suez previously operated as Red Hills Power Plant.
Keith Cuevas, Red Hills Operation plant manager, explained, “A subsidiary of Southern Company bought Red Hills and Suez operated it until March 1. Now PurEngery operates it.”
During the celebration, Cuevas praised their employees for doing a great job with the transition to Red Hills Operations then right into an outage and finally into cleaning and organizing the plant.
“I feel very good with the team we have at the plant,” said Cuevas.
Approximately 30 employees were at the celebration along with many members of the community.
Cuevas also said that Southern Company plans to invest up to $16 million into the plant, most of that in equipment.
He also mentioned that Southern Company is a “big community partner.” Being in Choctaw County only a few months, they have already helped by purchasing lunchroom tables for the school, decorations for the Ackerman Elementary Read-a-thon, flowers for Main Street in Ackerman and also provided hats for the kids at the Kids’ Fishing Rodeo in April.
District 3 Supervisor Chris McIntire, also board president, said during the celebration, that the county has “worked through hoops to get here today” with Southern Power and PurEnergy.
“They have made the commitment and resources to bring the plant up to where it needs to be. I see a bright future,” said McIntire.
Everyone attending the celebration also enjoyed refreshments and meeting Red Hills Operations employees.