A power generation company owned by Michel Moreno, the Lafayette oilman who had plans for a 35-acre River District development between downtown Baton Rouge and LSU before being foreclosed on, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Lafayette-based Turbine Generation Services LLC made the filing on July 30, listing between one and 50 creditors, between $1 million and $10 million in assets and between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities. The proceedings are in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
Turbine Generation Services aimed to provide well-site electricity fueled by natural gas from wellheads. It attracted the attention of GE Oil & Gas, a General Electric subsidiary, which agreed to partner with the company. Later, that joint venture flopped and the two firms sued each other. In 2016, a state justice in New York ruled GE was entitled to damages over the nonpayment of a $25 million inventory loan for Turbine Generation Services.
Several law firms have filed claims for unpaid legal bills in the Chapter 11 proceedings for Turbine Generation Services.
An attorney for Turbine Generation could not be reached for comment.
Moreno has operated several companies, many of them focused on oilfield services and later, hydraulic fracturing. In recent years, he has been tied up in litigation from creditors and bankruptcy and liquidation proceedings related to his Green Field Energy Services, the failed company that aimed to use turbine engines from surplus military helicopters for fracking in Texas.
Louisiana Secretary of State records show Turbine Generation was previously called Green Field Power Generation before being changed in 2013.
Moreno had proposed the 34.8-acre River District development on Nicholson Drive between downtown Baton Rouge and LSU, with plans for two hotels, 1,832 apartments and townhomes, a possible neighborhood grocery store and 118,500 square feet of commercial space. The property is near the Water Campus, a development by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation next to the river.
Moreno had used that land and land he owned in New Iberia as security for a $52.4 million loan in 2013, and later defaulted on the loan. The land was later sold back to the bank at auction.
About 32 acres of the land went back on the market this March, after other creditors reclaimed some of the lots. The broker marketing the property said it will be difficult to put together a development similar to the one Moreno had envisioned. But the land’s proximity to LSU, downtown and the Water Campus makes it desirable.