-Innovative Technology Greatly Reduces Greenhouse
Gas Emissions while Generating Power-
De Pere, Wis., U.S.A., (October 31, 2007) - MEGTEC Systems, a unit of Sequa
Corporation (NYSE:SQAA), announces the first power plant in the world to use MEGTEC's
innovative technology to generate electrical power by using coal mine ventilation air
methane (VAM) as primary fuel. The power plant is now in full operation in Australia at the West Cliff Colliery of BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP), the world's largest diversified mining and resources company.
The date of the official opening of the world's first VAM Power Plant was Friday
September 14, 2007. Conducting the inauguration was the Honorable Morris Iemma, the
Premier of NSW, Australia.
The system is based on a patented combination of emission control and steam-cycle
technologies. The solution is developed by MEGTEC Systems, supplier of air emission
abatement equipment and energy systems worldwide. The world's first VAM Power Plant is
partly funded by the Australian Greenhouse Office.
By using the compact and flameless VOCSIDIZER® regenerative thermal oxidizer as an
energy source, MEGTEC has made it possible to generate high grade, super-heated steam
from a fuel with 0.9% methane content. The steam has the same quality as used at
traditional power plants. It is used to drive a conventional steam turbine, which generates electricity that can be delivered to the state grid or directly to the mine.
"What we've done is provide a proven solution to reduce harmful emissions released into the air. This is a major milestone for the industry as a whole," said Richard Mattus, Business Manager, Energy & Process Systems for MEGTEC.
Each hour, the installation is treating 0.9% of methane content in 150,000 scfm (250,000 m3) of ventilation air. The energy produced from the methane is utilized to generate steam suitable for running a conventional 6 Megawatt turbine, resulting in this first power plant of its kind. The volume of ventilation air treated amounts to only 20% of the total volume of ventilation air available from the ventilation shaft.
When coal is formed, so is methane. When the coal is excavated, methane is released.
Since methane in air is explosive in concentrations between 5 and 15%, ventilation air is used to dilute the methane to levels below 1% - well below the explosion limit. This safety measure leads to very large volumes of air with extremely low methane content being released to atmosphere.
Methane is a greenhouse gas over 20 times more potent than CO2. BHP Billiton can now
convert the emission reduction to carbon credits corresponding to 250,000 tons of CO2e
(CO2-equivalents). A VAM Power Plant treating the full volume of ventilation air can generate approximately one million carbon credits. In comparison, methane emissions of a cow amounts annually to between 1 and 2 tons of CO2e while a car annually generates
emissions corresponding to a typical 2 to 4 tons of CO2e.
MEGTEC is part of Sequa Corporation, a diversified manufacturer with operations
organized around six segments: aerospace, automotive, metal coating, specialty
chemical, industrial machinery, and other products.