Vice President, Commercial Development
Global Energy, Inc.
Before a Hearing of
The Clean Air, Wetlands and
Climate Change Subcommittee
Of the Committee on Environment and Public Works
of the U.S. Senate
January 29, 2002
Good morning. My name is Phil Amick and I am Vice President, Commercial Development for Global Energy Inc., headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.† I would like to thank the Chairman and the other members of the Subcommittee for allowing me to appear at this hearing.
Global Energy owns and operates the Wabash River Energy Ltd. gasification facility in Terre Haute, Indiana. The affiliated power generation plant is owned and operated by Cinergy. This 262 MW facility powers about 250,000 homes while utilizing local high sulfur coals, and even petroleum coke feedstocks,† with sulfur content of 5.5% and more.† More to the point for this hearing, it is the cleanest coal fired power plant in the world, of any technology.
The Wabash River IGCC is a repowering of a 1953 vintage pulverized coal plant, one that was operating on compliance coal and had precipitators but was unscrubbed. Compared to the performance prior to repowering, based on 1990 data for the older plant, the new facility makes almost six times as many megawatt hours of electrical power yet has reduced emissions of SO x by over 5500 tons per year, NO x by 1180 tons per year and PM-10 particulates by 100 tons per year.
The Wabash facility, and the Tampa Electric Polk Power Station in Florida, are the first of a new class of coal-based electrical generation facilities with superior environmental performance compared to other technologies such as pulverized coal and fluidized bed. Wabash has been operating since 1995 with emissions lower than coal plants that are now being permitted for operation in 2005.
Wabash is a power plant using high sulfur coal that has SO2 emissions as low as one fortieth of the Clean Air Act Year 2000 standard. Sulfur is chemically extracted from the syngas and sold for use in the fertilizer industry, about a railcar per day of pure sulfur that used to go into the atmosphere.
Itís a coal power plant where the coal ash products emerge as a vitrified black sand byproduct and are marketed as construction material. There are no solid wastes from the coal gasification process -† no scrubber sludge, fly ash or bottom ash.
In this plant, the wastewater stream from the chemical process meets current National Drinking Water Standards.
Carbon dioxide emissions are 20% lower than conventional unscrubbed coal fired plants because of the inherent† efficiency of the gasification combined cycle process. The plant, with no additional special equipment, also has a mercury removal rate of about 50%.
One of the keys to this superior environmental performance is the fact that the gasification process takes place at high pressure. This facilitates the chemical processes that remove the pollutants.
High pressure operation also will facilitate additional carbon reduction and mercury removal measures on future plants.† Department of Energy and industry studies indicate that significant reductions can be achieved with much less cost and performance impact than possible with coal combustion technologies that operate near atmospheric pressure.
While carbon dioxide emissions† already 20% less than conventional units, this emission can be reduced more than 75% by shifting the syngas to hydrogen. This technology, already in use at some hydrogen production facilities, can be retrofit to a gasification facility for as little as 2 % of the original capital cost. The plant output† reduction for this additional process step is a fraction of what would be seen in a conventional technology plant.† In a gasification facility, it can be retrofit at any time in the future.
Mercury removal is also much simpler in the gasification process. A plant like the Wabash River facility could be upgraded to 80% or better mercury removal by the addition of a single carbon bed vessel, at a cost of less than $1 million dollars. Other facilities, such as the Tennessee Eastman gasification plant for chemical feedstock production in Kingsport, Tennessee,† achieve better than 90% mercury removal to meet their process constraints, and have been doing it for nearly two decades.
Gasification technology for coal based power generation is being commercially marketed by ourselves and others. We feel that it is the most environmentally friendly† solution for diversifying the fuel mix of new electrical power plant capacity. Through repowering, much of the existing, aging coal generation base can be upgraded† as well, as was done at Wabash River.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, that concludes my oral statement. With your permission, I have additional materials that can be included in the record.
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