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August 18, 2008

Canada’s first low-CO2 power plant

Gerald Ondrey

Siemens’ (Erlangen, Germany; coal gasification technology has been selected for Canada’s first low-CO2 IGCC power plant. EPCOR Power Generation is planning to build an integrated gasification combined cycle power plant (IGCC) featuring carbon capture and storage in Genesee near Edmonton, Alberta. The demonstration plant, with an installed capacity of approximately 270 MW, is scheduled to come on line in 2015.

In the first project phase, Siemens will provide the technology license, as well as the process and basic engineering design for the coal-gasification island based on the Siemens SFG-500 coal gasifier. Following the completion of the front-end engineering design of the plant, EPCOR intends to enter into an agreement with Siemens to supply the gasification reactor and components of the feed system.

The Siemens coal gasification technology will produce clean syngas, which will be used to fire a gas turbine in the combined cycle plant to provide electricity to the local grid. The emissions from IGCC plants are significantly lower than those from today’s conventional coal-fired power plants. The plant in Genesee is designed to capture approximately 85% of the CO2 contained in the coal for enhanced oil recovery in existing oil fields.

“While we have secured a number of orders for our coal gasification technology in China, the U.S. and Australia, we are pleased to now have our first order in Canada. Our gasifier technology will be used for the first time for a full-scale IGCC project,” says Michael Suess, CEO of the Fossil Power Generation Division of Siemens Energy. “In the future, IGCC power plants could make a significant contribution toward a more reliable energy supply with maximized climate and environmental compatibility,” added Suess. Within the framework of an action plan to mitigate climate change, Alberta Province recently announced a comprehensive investment program to finance technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There are provisions for the investment of two billion Canadian dollars purely for the promotion of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.

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