Reliant Energy Commits $350 Million for Environmental Upgrades at Two Key Facilities

Reliant Energy has announced plans to install state-of-the-art emission control systems at two Pennsylvania power plants, a major step in the company’s strategy for maximizing the long-term value of its power generation assets while reducing air emissions. The utility, Reliant Energy, estimated it could spend up to $625 million through 2011 on sulfur dioxide (SO 2), nitrogen oxide (NO x), and mercury controls at the company’s power plants.

The plans call for the installation of a wet flue gas desulfurization system scrubber at the company’s Cheswick Generating Station in Springdale, Pa. The utility will also fund Reliant’s portion of the scrubber installation at the Keystone Generating Station near Indiana, Pa. Reliant jointly owns the Keystone station with six other entities and operates the facility on behalf of the owners. It is estimated that the cost for the Cheswick scrubber and Reliant’s portion of the Keystone project will be approximately $350 million.

The scrubbers at both facilities are expected to begin commercial operation in 2009. All of the capital expenditures will be made over time with the majority of them being incurred from 2007 to 2009. Installation of scrubbers at these units will remove approximately 98% of SO 2 from the stations’ flue gases. This will reduce Reliant Energy’s SO 2 emissions by approximately 68,000 tons per year. The systems will be designed to maximize the removal of mercury.

"Reliant Energy is committed to caring for the environment and the communities where we do business, and this decision is significant from both perspectives," said Reliant Energy Chairman and CEO Joel Staff. "Investing in scrubbers on these units will contribute to improved air quality in Pennsylvania while improving the economic viability of these units for years to come. Not only is it the right thing to do for the environment, it makes good business sense."

In addition to installing scrubbers at the Cheswick and Keystone plants, the strategy includes upgrades to the existing flue gas desulfurization systems at Reliant’s Elrama and Niles plants. These upgrades will be completed in 2006 and are expected to increase SO 2 removal efficiency. Modifications to significantly reduce SO 2 emissions from Reliant Energy’s Avon Lake facility are also being considered.

Reliant is continuing to evaluate technologies that contribute to reduced SO 2 and NO x emissions. For SO 2 control, the company is testing the switch to low-sulfur fuels, including Power River Basin coal. In addition, Reliant is considering installation of selective noncatalytic reduction systems for NO x reduction.

The utility is continuing to work with third parties to host testing and development of new emission control technologies, including advanced sorbents for mercury control, lime slurry injection and new duct injection technology for SO 2 control, and waste coal slurry reburn for NO x control.

Washington Group International Inc. to Provide Engineering and Construction Services

Washington Group International has been selected to provide engineering, procurement, and construction services for a major environmental retrofit project at Detroit Edison’s Monroe Power Plant in Monroe, Mich. The company will provide these services for construction of flue gas desulphurization (FGD) systems on the plant’s generating Units 3 and 4. Each unit generates approximately 775 MW. The cost of the project is in excess of $500 million.

The FGD scrubbers will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from each generating unit by 97%. With the scrubbers operating in combination with selective catalytic reduction systems (SCRs) on both units, mercury emissions will be reduced by more than 80%. Construction of the scrubber has begun on Unit 4 and is expected to be complete in December 2008; Unit 3 will be completed in 2010.

Washington Group currently is providing engineering and design services for installation of a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system on Unit 3. SCRs, which reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, already are in operation on Units 1 and 4. The Monroe Power Plant, one of the largest and most efficient coal-fired plants in the United States, is located approximately 30 miles south of Detroit.

MidAmerican Energy Company Awards Low-NO X Burner Contract

Riley Power Inc. (RPI), Worcester, Mass., a subsidiary of Babcock Power Inc., has announced that it has been awarded a contract to supply low-NO x burners to MidAmerican Energy Co. for Unit 3 at its coal-fired Council Bluffs, Iowa, power plant.

RPI’s scope includes the design, supply, and installation of 56 new low-NO x Controlled Combustion Venturi (CCV) Dual Air Zone (DAZ) burners and an overfire air system for the existing boiler. The value of the contract is in excess of $8 million. The CCV design includes RPI’s patented coal nozzle, as well as numerous design enhancements, to provide a high degree of reliability and extended wear life.

The company will utilize its in-house computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling capabilities. Utilizing CFD modeling will ensure the proper air and fuel distribution and mixing for this specific installation. It will also make sure that the specified performance guarantees are achieved.

Stanley Consultants Retained for Springfield Power Plant

City Utilities of Springfield, Mo., has retained Stanley Consultants to design a new 300-MW coal-fired generating power plant to be called Southwest Power Station Unit 2. The plant is needed to meet the increasing demand for electricity by the residents of Springfield, Mo.

The $697 million state-of-the-art unit will use a pulverized coal steam generator with a selective catalytic reduction system, spray dry absorber, and baghouse for emissions control. Treated sewage plant effluent will be used for the cooling tower makeup water supply. The treatment plant is adjacent to the power plant site. When in commercial operation the plant will burn Powder River Basin coal.

Environmental permitting has been completed and a permit is in place. Design of the new unit is currently under way and is expected to last 18 months. Construction of the facility will start in 2006 and is expected to take approximately four years to complete. Between 800 and 1,000 workers will be on site during construction of the unit. Stanley Consultants will provide oversight services during construction, commissioning, and testing of the facility. The unit is expected to begin operation in late 2010.

PSEG Awards Emission Control Contract

Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control Inc., a division of Siemens Power Generation, has been awarded a contract by PSEG Power Connecticut LLC to provide a multipollutant control system for Bridgeport Harbor Generating Station, Unit 3, in Bridgeport, Conn. The contract has been assumed by Shaw Stone & Webster, a unit of The Shaw Group Inc., which has the engineering, procurement, and construction contract for the Mercury Control Project at Bridgeport Harbor. Wheelabrator will design and supply a JET VIP fabric filter system to control particulate emissions and a powder-activated carbon (PAC) injection system to control mercury (Hg) emissions from a 400-MW coal-fired boiler.

JET VIP Intermediate Pulse Collectors are designed for larger gas volumes. Double-diaphragm valves deliver a low-pressure pulse through a "tuned" manifold delivery system for gentle cleaning while providing low emissions. The PAC system, which controls Hg emissions, is compatible with virtually all particulate control system. However, to provide total emissions control, it is most effective upstream of a fabric filter. Under the terms of the contract, Wheelabrator will deliver the system to Bridgeport Harbor in December 2006. Start of the system is scheduled for December 2007.

Mirant to Install FGD Scrubbers at Three Maryland Power Plants

Mirant Corp. has announced a plan that will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by as much as 95% (approximately 220,000 tons per year) at the Maryland power plants owned or operated by subsidiaries of Mirant Corp. The utility will install flue gas desulfurization emissions controls at its three Maryland power plants: Chalk Point Generating Station located in Prince George’s County, Dickerson Generating Station located in Montgomery County, and Morgantown Generating Station located in Charles County.

In addition, Mirant will install a selective catalytic reduction system at its Chalk Point facility. The SCRs will further reduce NO x emissions by approximately 92% (approximately 4,500 tons per year). Together, the FGDs and the SCR will reduce by approximately 90% the emissions of ionic mercury from the three power plants. Shaw Stone & Webster has been awarded, through a competitive process, the contract for construction and installation of the FGDs and the SCR.

"We are making a major investment in emission reduction technologies," said Edward R. Muller, Mirant chairman and CEO. "This equipment offers an excellent solution for substantially improving air quality while maintaining system reliability and efficient power generation for consumers and businesses."

These environmental upgrades are part of Mirant’s previously announced environmental capital expenditures program.

WorleyParsons Awarded Contract for 600-MW Supercritical Coal-fired Generation Plant

WorleyParsons has been awarded a $64 million professional services contract for Santee Cooper’s 600-MW coal-fired generation plant near Kingsburg (Florence County), S.C. The plant is scheduled to be operational in early 2012. It is estimated that the project will cost $998 million. Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility. WorleyParsons is currently providing the same type of services at Santee Cooper’s units 3 and 4 in Cross, S.C. It also designed and engineered Unit 1.

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