by Jim Maniaci
15 October 2004
ROCK — The federal Energy Department announced in
Santa Fe Thursday afternoon a grant of almost $20
million to Peabody Energy for a new ultra-low emissions
coal-fired power plant near Grants.
Secretary Spencer Abraham announced the $19.7 million
Clean Coal Power Initiative grant will be to demonstrate
for the first time on a commercial scale new technology
to achieve the super-low emissions of nitrogen oxide and
grant will cover about one-fourth of the $79 million
project, Abraham said.
proposed El Segundo Mine, adjacent to the Lee Ranch
Mine, would supply about a million tons of coal for a
300 megawatt electric generating facility called the
Mustang Energy Project, bringing in between 200 and 250
jobs for the plant, plus an associated by-products
operation, according to Peabody press officer Beth
economy would benefit by having more than $15 million a
year of skilled, high-paying wages and benefits with 150
to 200 of the workers at the power plant and a projected
50 more jobs in the "regeneration" operation
which would convert the air pollution by-products of
sulfur and nitrogen into fertilizer, Sutton said.
a rule of thumb, she said the company figures three
additional jobs would be created in the local economy
for each power plant job.
Abraham said the grant is part of President George W.
Bush's 10-year $2 billion Clean Coal Power Initiative.
The Secretary noted that coal is America's"most
abundant energy resource."
added, "The project is unique in that it also
advances President Bush's Clear Skies Initiative by
controlling harmful emission from the plant and doing so
at a success rate we don't often see in an industrial
Peabody's Roger B. Walcott Jr., executive vice president
for corporate development, "Peabody will continue
to advocate research, development and deployment of
advanced clean coal technologies. Our goal for Mustang
is to demonstrate technology that will continue to
improve emissions for coal-fueled generating
plants." The corporation, based in St. Louis, is
the world's largest private coal company.
added, "Mustang seeks to demonstrate
state-of-the-art technology to support the industry's
drive towards near-zero emissions from coal-fueled
plants." And as the project demonstrates it
successes, the grant would be repaid, she added.
proprietary technology of one of Peabody's partners,
Airborne Clean Energy Limited Liability Company of
Terrace Park, Ohio, is similar to current tower
scrubbers. It will use a sodium bicarbonate (baking
soda) agent to scrub out an estimated 99.5 percent of
the sulfur dioxide, 98 percent of the nitrogen oxide and
90 percent of the mercury.
will minimize emissions and water use by employing low-NOx
burners, fabric filtration and a dry cooling
system," while supplying electricity for an
estimated 300,000 families in the southwest, she said.
a bar graph, Peabody notes as the U.S. average in 1970
coal-powered plants pumped 4.37 pounds per million BTU
of SO2 and 1.08 pounds per million British Thermal Units
(MBTU) of NOx into the air.
2003, the average from power plants in New Mexico had
plummeted to .34 and .5 pounds per MBTU, which was lower
than the national average for SO2 by about two-thirds,
but about one-fourth higher than the national average
comparison, Peabody projects Mustang will produce .02
pounds of SO2 and .01 pounds of NOx, Sutton pointed out.
the permit process takes time an environment impact
statement usually requires 12-18 months no estimated can
be given for a groundbreaking.
two coal mines and power plant would be about 35 miles
from Grants. The site was chosen, Peabody said, for its
access to coal (with a medium level of sulfur), land,
transmission lines and rail service.
said Peabody also must sell long-term contracts to
utilities for the plant's power as well as look for
partners, either for partial ownership and/or power
sales, as the final steps to putting the plant into
operation, once all the permits are obtained.
addition to Airborne Clean Energy LLC, which is a
licensed patent holder of Airborne Technologies, Inc.,
of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the other Mustang partners
are HPD, Veolia Water Systems, a subsidiary of Veolia
Environment, the largest environment services company in
the world, with American headquarters in Plainfield,
Ill., and international headquarters in Bilbao, Spain,
and Icon, Inc., a private minority engineering
corporation in Dayton, Ohio.
currently also is building two plants of 1,500 megawatts
each in the Midwest.