31 March 2005 – The commercialization of integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology took a step forward yesterday as three US companies joined forces to explore the possibility of creating a 1200 MW facility.
The three companies, GE, Bechtel and American Electric Power (AEP), signed a letter of intent to perform a scoping study that will determine cost estimates, equipment configuration and will lead to the front-end engineering design phase.
John Rice, president and CEO of GE Energy, said: “We are pleased to be participating in the early stages of a project that could play a major role in the commercialization of this technology.”
AEP will own and operate the plant and if selected, GE would supply the IGCC technology while Bechtel would construct the facility.
Among the potential sites under consideration are Mason County, West Virginia, adjacent to AEP’s Mountaineer Plant; in the Great Bend area of Meigs County, Ohio; and in the Carrs area near Vanceburg, Lewis County, Kentucky.
As announced in October 2004, GE and Bechtel are striving to create a standard commercial offering for IGCC projects in the US. The technology converts coal into gas, removing most of the sulphur dioxide and other emissions before the gas is used to fuel a gas turbine generator. The hot exhaust gases are then used to heat steam, driving a steam-generator to produce additional power.
While in August 2004, AEP announced plans to build at least one commercial scale base load IGCC plant by 2010.
Michael G. Morris, chairman, president and chief executive officer of AEP, said: “Our success will set a new industry standard for using coal, America’s most abundant resource, while providing much needed, low cost generation that will be as environmentally responsible as possible.”