Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) – through subsidiary Southern Generation Technologies LLC – and KBR LLC of Houston, Texas, have formed an alliance to market Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIG) coal technology. The technology, which was developed by Southern Co. and KBR under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), can support coal-based generation with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions comparable to those of a natural gas plant, providing a viable solution for clean coal generation in the U.S. and around the world.
In the U.S., Mississippi Power, a Southern Co. subsidiary, is using TRIG as the basis for its integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) facility under construction in Kemper County, Miss. An abundance of Mississippi lignite located adjacent to the plant site will be gasified to create energy for customers for the next 40 years. Since emission controls are built into the coal gasification process, the project is expected to have fewer sulfur dioxide, particulate and mercury emissions than traditional pulverized coal technology while capturing at least 65 percent of the CO2 produced, with resulting CO2 emissions comparable to those of a similarly sized natural gas plant.
In the case of the Kemper County project, the byproducts are expected to significantly offset the cost of the fuel of the plant. For example, the carbon captured at the Kemper County energy facility will assist in enhanced oil recovery, enabling the production of more domestically sourced oil and increasing America’s energy security when the IGCC facility enters service, scheduled for 2014. Enhanced oil recovery is a well-established method for increasing oil production by injecting CO2 into depleted oil wells to force more oil out of the ground.
With the signing of this agreement, KBR acquires exclusive global licensing rights for power generation in addition to its existing rights in industrial applications of TRIG. Southern Co. will provide engineering and technology expertise and draw on its operations experience in support of KBR’s sales, marketing, licensing and design efforts.
Read more clean coal technologies news