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Illinois Coal Plant Possibly Forced To Seek Bankruptcy

Posted on in Bankruptcy

The Chicago Tribune reported a story about Midwest Generation, who operate six coal-fired electric plants in Illinois, possibly seeking bankruptcy protection along with its parent company, Edison Mission Energy.

Midwest Generation executives announced three months earlier that in September, they would shut down the outmoded Fisk and Crawford coal plants in Chicago. Midwest Generation owns four more power generation plants, which, together with the Chicago plants, provide electricity to nearly 5 million homes.

Customers will not have to worry about losing electricity, because the region's grid operator willl ensure that customers get power in their homes. Also, a bankruptcy filing might not mean the plants would close. Bondholders can take control of the company and decide if they will make the necessary upgrades, sell the plants or shut them down.

The state has imposed deadlines for the company, and they would need to reduce their mercury emissions by 90 percent across all of their plants in Illinois by 2015 and gradually decrease other pollutants by 2019. Federal regulations might also move up those deadlines.

Edison International, the holding company to both Edison and Midwest, said they are not expecting Edison to have sufficient cash flow to repay their $500 million debt due in June 2013. According to officials at Edison International, they are in discussions of seeking to restructure $3.7 billion in unsecured debt to avoid bankruptcy. A bankruptcy reorganization would likely mean new ownership, said the chairman, president, and CEO of Edison International. Edison International expects Edison Mission Energy to stand on its own by either restructuring or reorganizing its capital structure, selling assets and conserving as much cash as possible.

Midwest Generation employs about 1,000 people at its Illinois plants, and with the closure of the Fisk and Crawford plants, 150 to 180 people are likely to lose their jobs.

Even though your bankruptcy might not involve $500 million of debts to take care of, you will still need one of our professional bankruptcy lawyers in Cook County to help you reach the best possible outcome. Do not go through your bankruptcy alone, and remember that only an attorney can provide you with legal advice. Contact a skilled Cook County bankruptcy attorney today.

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