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Report: Feds plan high-tech coal plant
Eight utilities, coal companies join Energy Department in $1B project; location due by 2007.
December 6, 2005: 8:22 AM EST

NEW YORK ( - The Department of Energy is set to announce a nearly $1 billion coal-fired power plant that would remove many of the pollutants associated with coal and turn some of them into useable industrial products, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal reports the plant will cost $950 million and will be built with $250 million in investment from a group of eight companies, including major coal and electricity producers. A location for the plant is expected to be found by 2007 and the plant is due to start operations by 2012, according to the report.

The newspaper reports that the goal is to capture 90 percent of the plant's carbon dioxide once it begins operation and later raise that to 100 percent of the greenhouse gas, which is believed to cause global warming, using advanced technologies.

The cost of operating the plant would be only about 10 percent above current market costs, according to the report. The plans call for the carbon dioxide waste to be injected into deep underground rock formations, but other waste products, including hydrogen, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides could be gasified and sold to industry.

The plant is to be named FutureGen and is expected to produce about 250 megawatts of electricity, making it a medium sized generating station, the newspaper reports.

The United States has an abundant supply of coal, unlike its far more limited supply of oil or natural gas. Two of the companies that are contributing to the plant are from China and Australia, which also have abundant coal reserves.

The six U.S. companies that will contribute to the plant include utilities American Electric Power (Research) and Southern Co. (Research) and coal producers Consol Energy (Research) Inc., of Pittsburgh; Foundation Coal (Research), Peabody Energy (Research) and Kennecott Energy, which is owned by Australian mining company Rio Tinto Group (Research).

In addition, Australian mining conglomerate BHP Billiton (Research) and China Huaneng Group are participating.


For a look at the potential for coal stocks, click here.  Top of page

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