FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) – General Motors Corp. is spending $11 million at its Fort Wayne truck assembly plant to create a small power plant that would use landfill gas to supply 40 percent of the factory’s electricity.

The project will increase the use of gas from a landfill about nine miles away that began in 2002 when the factory began using it to create steam for the 4,000-worker factory that assembles Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.

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General Motors has already had a larger pipeline installed to the landfill and the new project will increase the plant’s reliance on landfill-derived energy by four-fold, company spokeswoman Stephanie Jentgen told The Journal Gazette.

The closed-loop system is designed to keep the unpleasant odor of methane gas contained.

“You absolutely can’t smell it,” Jentgen said.

The project at the factory a few miles southwest of Fort Wayne is part of GM effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions connected with it and the Lake Orion Assembly Plant in Michigan.

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The landfill gas is essentially a waste product that the GM plant will be capturing.

“To use it in a combustion engine to generate electricity, then there’s not that flaring aspect of that landfill gas over at the landfill,” David Shenefield, the Fort Wayne factory’s utilities manager, told WPTA-TV.

Company officials expect to have the Fort Wayne generating plant in operation by May.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)