Midwest Generation and partners propose mercury control research projects to DOE

CHICAGO, Oct. 24, 2000 (PRNewswire via COMTEX) — Chicago-based Midwest Generation has announced its proposed participation in two pilot projects to research technologies for reducing mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. A key goal of these projects is to increase understanding of the processes and equipment costs for various levels of mercury removal.

Midwest Generation owns seven, coal-fired, electricity generating stations in Illinois and western Pennsylvania. The company is a subsidiary of Edison Mission Energy, which owns and operates 75 power plants around the world, and is a part of the Edison International family of companies, headquartered in Rosemead, Cal.

"As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began a comprehensive review of the potential impact of mercury emissions from power plants, we stated our intent to work with EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and private companies to test technologies which may reduce these emissions," said Georgia Nelson, president of Midwest Generation. "We now are prepared to move forward in cooperation with other parties to conduct research on this important issue," she said.

Midwest Generation has pledged resources to two proposed mercury removal projects, including its technical and environmental expertise and the designation of its Powerton Generating Station in Pekin, Ill., near Peoria, as a test site for one project.

If selected for funding by DOE, the projects would begin next year.

The project that would be piloted at the Powerton Station is spearheaded by Apogee Scientific, Inc. of Englewood, Colo. an advanced technology business formed to provide innovative solutions for environmental and engineering needs. Apogee, in partnership with Midwest Generation, EPRI and other parties, presented a proposal for DOE funding last month. DOE is expected to act on the proposal by October 31, and a contract could be awarded for the project 90 days later.

In the Apogee test, a small percentage of the boiler combustion flue gas will be extracted and fed to a pilot facility installed at the station. Various sorbents (made from substances such as biomass, waste tires and flyash) would be injected into the flue gas to test their ability to absorb mercury.

The second project of interest to Midwest Generation is being led by ADA Technologies of Littleton, Colo.

In this project, the effects of various sorbents would be analyzed in a small test boiler at a research facility near Pittsburgh, Pa., owned by CONSOL Energy, one of the nation's top energy and coal mining companies. Midwest Generation would provide 20 tons of low-sulfur coal for this project, as well as flyash, a coal combustion byproduct which would be tested for effectiveness as a sorbent.

Last spring, a joint Edison Mission Energy-Midwest Generation Environmental Technology Review team was formed to research technologies that offer potential solutions to the environmental concerns faced by coal-fired power producers.

"Midwest Generation is committed to being an innovative industry leader in implementing cost-effective technologies to enhance pollution controls," Nelson said. "We began operations in Illinois eight months ago and immediately began making voluntary investments of $200 million to cut emissions of nitrogen oxides — a chief component of smog — by more than half. These proposed, new projects further our commitment to continue improving our environmental performance."

As an energy company, Midwest Generation is exclusively in business to generate electricity to sell wholesale in the open market. It is not a utility and is not engaged in the direct transmission or sale of electricity to homes and businesses.

Midwest Generation operates assets of nearly $7 billion, including 12 power generating facilities in Illinois (six of which are coal-fired) and one-coal-fired facility in western Pennsylvania.

Based in Rosemead, Calif., Edison International is a premier international electric power generator, distributor and structured finance provider. With assets of $36 billion and a portfolio of approximately 28,000 MW, Edison International is an industry leader in privatized, deregulated and incentive-regulated markets and power generation. It is the parent company of Southern California Edison, Edison Mission Energy, Edison Capital and Edison Enterprises.

© 2000 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

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