750 MW coal fired expansion a Seminole decision

1 April 2005 – Seminole Electric Cooperative is to expand its 1300 MW generating station in Putnam County, Florida by 60 per cent with a new 750 MW coal project that will cost $1.2bn.

The new unit, which should be ready for commercial service in May 2012, would provide an affordable supply of wholesale energy to its ten member systems, the company stated.

Mike Opalinski, Seminole’s vice president for technical services, said: “Coal supplies are abundant, price is relatively stable compared to volatile natural gas prices, coal can be stockpiled to protect from weather related delivery interruptions, and new clean coal emission control technologies mean that coal plants can offer excellent environmental performance.”

The expansion project would add $440m in new environmental controls to the station, including a new zero discharge system that will evaporate the process wastewater from all three units and improve the quality of the station’s water discharge to the nearby river.

The expansion would also increase the station’s synthetic gypsum production from a by-product of the plant’s scrubbers. The gypsum currently produced by the plant is sold to Lafarge North America Gypsum for wallboard production at its manufacturing plant in Putnam County.

Seminole signed a long term contract with Lafarge in 2000 and the wallboard manufacturer has agreed in principle to take the extra gypsum when the new unit enters operation, although details of this arrangement were still being discussed.