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Tianjin to build a 'clean coal' power plant
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By staff reporter Wang Zhiyong

A senior manager from GreenGen announced in Beijing that they will start the construction of a coal-based power plant in north China's Tianjin City on June 26, 2009. The plant has an ambitious design to realize near-zero emissions of carbon dioxide.


Future fossil-fuel power: An artist's impression of China's first integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant, which is to be built in Lingang Industrial Park in the Tianjin Binhai New Development Zone.

This pioneer project would be country's first commercial-scale "clean coal" power plant. It will gasify coal to extract the hydrogen while sequestering the CO2 emissions, popularly known as CCS – carbon capture and storage. The carbon dioxide will then be pumped into oil wells to aid in petroleum recovery.

As a demonstration plant, it will support the commercial deployment of multiple Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) technology. IGCC technology uses the same syngas to drive turbines and generate electricity with far less pollution than conventional coal plants. For example, mercury and soot levels are close to those seen at natural gas-fired plants, while carbon dioxide comes out in a pure stream that should be easier to capture and sequester.

"All engineering and design work has been completed. Major items of plant have been selected and are on order, and site preparation and foundation work is ready," said Lin Kai, GreenGen's associate manager in their Department of Operation, Technology and International Cooperation. Lin is also one of the senior engineers with GreenGen, whose major shareholder is China's largest power producer Huaneng Group.

Other than the gas turbine power unit which is to be imported, all components will be domestically produced, including the core feature, a novel gasifier designed by the Thermal Power Research Institute in Xi'an, said Lin.

The construction of the GreenGen plant is consistent with the Chinese government's objective to achieve continuous environmental improvement while using coal to advance energy security and economic growth.

The project will be developed in the Lingang Industrial Park of Tianjin, some 150 km southeast of Beijing. Lingang Industrial Park has a number of advantages, including ready supplies of coal, water, and direct electricity, and the availability of land. The presence of a large number of chemical plants located in the Industrial Park also creates favorable conditions for the poly-generation system by providing opportunities to utilize their byproducts.

The first phase of the GreenGen plant is expected on line in 2011, generating 250 megawatts of electricity, as well as realizing 2000 tons/day of coal gasification.

The project includes three phases for additional generation and capture, expanding to 650 megawatts by 2016 and realizing 3500 tons/day of gasification.

(China.org.cn June 18, 2009)

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