BP to build new Texas power plant, puts industry on notice

BP said Thursday it is finalizing negotiations with a unit of Cinergy Corp. to build new gas-fired power and steam cogeneration facilities at its Texas City and Chocolate Bayou, Tex., refining and chemical sites. Combined, the existing assets and new facilities will produce 805 Mw of electricity and 3.5 million lb/ hr of steam and cut Houston area nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.


BP said Thursday it is finalizing negotiations with a unit of Cinergy Corp. to build new gas-fired power and steam cogeneration facilities at its Texas City and Chocolate Bayou, Tex., refining and chemical sites. Combined, the existing assets and new facilities will produce 805 Mw of electricity and 3.5 million lb/ hr of steam and cut Houston area nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

BP said the proposed new units, subject to regulatory approval, will replace less efficient power units resulting in NOx emission reductions of about 53% from the Texas City site and 34% from the Chocolate Bayou site. In addition to substantial NOx reductions, the sites will also reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 727,000 tonnes/year, BP said.

The power generation units will be able to produce more electricity than required by the two sites enabling the excess to be sold on to the open market to other energy users, the company reported. BP Global Power, the power development unit of BP Gas and Power, will be an investor in the project's development.

BP said the project will play a significant role in helping the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) to meet a proposed 90% emission reductions target.

In September, BP caused an industry furor by announcing it would work with TNRCC to achieve substantial NOxemission reductions from its industrial point sources in the Houston nonattainment area. BP said it is the only energy company to support the state implementation plan (SIP) target reductions in an effort to bring Houston into compliance with the standards set by the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

"While others are fighting the process and casting doubt, we are stating our support and commitment to reducing pollution and to doing what we think is part of the solution to air quality in and around Houston, " Tim Scruggs, vice-president of the Texas City business unit, said in a statement.

Scruggs said the commitment is fully in line with the BP's position as the first energy company to commit to reduce it's global greenhouse gas emissions, manifested in CO2 emissions, by 10% over its baseline 1990 totals by the year 2010.

"It gives the public, TNRCC and our colleagues a clear idea of how we plan to reach the aggressive emission targets set for industrial facilities in our area," Scruggs said. "We also believe the project helps create business opportunities for us and for others as well."

The Texas City refinery is the largest in the BP system and one of the largest in the US, processing 450,000 b/d of crude. The refinery produces gasoline, distillates, and chemical feedstocks. The Texas City chemicals plant produces of metaxylene, paraxylene, and styrene as chemical intermediates that are further processed at other facilities. The Chocolate Bayou Works produces olefins and polypropylene.

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