Houston-based Hunton Energy (HE) on Wednesday announced it has received an environmental air permit from the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality for its proposed Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) plant in Freeport, Texas.
Scheduled to break ground in the fourth quarter this year, the Freeport Plant will be the first large scale SNG project to utilize the gasification of petcoke, coal and biomass to produce "green" energy.
The gasification system will capture almost 100 percent of the CO² emissions from the facility, with normal emissions occurring at start up. In addition, the elemental sulfur and vitrified slag byproducts are saleable, thereby eliminating any solid waste streams.
All CO² produced per year in the gasification process -- approximately 8 million tons -- will be captured, compressed and sold for enhanced oil/gas recovery (EOR). EOR has been used for years in West Texas and the Gulf Coast to increase oil production from depleted oil and gas fields as well as sequester the CO².
"The plant is expected to produce 180 million cubic feet per day of SNG, and it will generate 400 MW of additional power from its byproduct steam," said Kay Johnson, Hunton Energy Vice-President and project manager for the Freeport project. "Hunton's technology includes 11 patents ranging from water conservation to power management and will allow for the economic production of SNG, steam and power."
This project will provide solutions to several current American concerns. It will employ more than 3,000 construction workers until its completion in 2015 and retain 300 permanent jobs thereafter. Further, it reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and diminishes the country's dependence on foreign energy.
"Much has been said about the importance of wind, solar and biofuel energy and they all have their place in our country's ultimate energy solution," said R.O. Hunton, Chairman & CEO of Hunton Energy, "but the real driver is coal gasification, because we have enormous deposits of coal within our own boundaries. Contrary to some of the 'expert' opinions that I have seen quoted in various publications, coal gasification and CO² sequestration technologies are proven and have been used in this country for many years. The Hunton Freeport plant is truly a validation for gasification technology and the economic production of 'green energy,' and will help keep and create jobs in America."