MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — Northern Indiana Public Service Co. is moving ahead with a project to demolish a long-shuttered Gary power plant and clean up the site along Lake Michigan.

The Merrillville-based utility says the demolition of its Dean H. Mitchell power plant and the site’s environmental cleanup will cost an estimated $18 million.

NIPSCO says it will work with Gary officials and other local stakeholders to try to attract new development to the site that would bring jobs and tax revenue.

The coal-fired power plant was built in 1955, but was taken offline in December 2001. It was put into use periodically after that but later permanently decommissioned due to its age, needed upgrades and the cost of complying with federal regulations.