Southern Co., KBR to drive adoption of coal gasification technology

As electricity demand around the world continues to grow, TRIG is particularly suited to be part of the portfolio of technologies that can cleanly meet customers' energy needs while using low-cost, abundant fuel resources

Oct 29th, 2012

Atlanta, October 29, 2012 — Southern Co., through unit Southern Generation Technologies, and KBR, LLC, of Houston, Texas, formed an alliance to market coal technology, Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIG), to power companies worldwide.

The coal gasification 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 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.

More than half of the world's coal reserves consist of low-rank coal, such as lignite and sub-bituminous coal — the types that TRIG was developed to use. China alone is expected to add more than 300,000 MW of new coal-based generating capacity by 2035, while India and other parts of Asia are projected to add more than 100,000 MW in that same time frame.

As electricity demand around the world continues to grow, TRIG is particularly suited to be part of the portfolio of technologies that can cleanly meet customers' energy needs while using low-cost, abundant fuel resources.

In the U.S., Mississippi Power, a Southern Co. unit, is using TRIG as the basis for its state-of-the-art integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) facility under construction in Kemper County, Miss.

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 carbon dioxide produced, with resulting carbon dioxide emissions comparable to those of a similarly sized natural gas plant.

This technology incorporates numerous design and efficiency features that improve a facility's cost, reliability and emissions performance, as well as water withdrawal requirements, compared with traditional coal-fired generation.

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