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PostPosted: Mar 21, 2017 11:42 am 
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Brain Drain: Engineers and Managers Flee Southern Company’s Troubled Kemper ‘Clean Coal’ Plant


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PostPosted: Apr 02, 2017 4:04 pm 
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Lignite is the coal with the lowest cost and as well the lowest energy/weight. It contains a lot of humidity and hydrogen. Lignite was the main source to produce fuel in ww2 in Germany. Since then plenty of test reactors CTL and CTG were built and run. The most sucessful plants are run by SASOL. Other similar plants are the GTL plants in Khatar run by Shell and others.


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PostPosted: Jun 30, 2017 12:19 am 
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$7.5 billion Kemper power plant suspends coal gasification

Apparently they've given up on the gasification plant and plan on running natural gas only now. If they had done more intermediate gasification plant prototyping rather than doing doing the small scale tests then commit to full size hardware in one go and fix it on the fly (what is this sick concurrent dev mindset that has infected US engineering, like the F-35 fighter), the outcome might have been different if a bit more drawn out.

With the coal handling system being effectively incomplete, that removes yet another chance to gain full scale ops experience with coal gasifiers within the US, which hampers CTL dev and deployment. The TRIG gasifier itself may have been a hot mess of a choice however, regardless of the coal feed system issues.

Though the root cause smells like an over aggressive schedule fueled by dreams of accelerated short term profits if completed.


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PostPosted: Jun 30, 2017 12:41 am 
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Underground gasification of low/marginal quality coal may be the most cost-effective way to synthetic fuels. Use of nuclear steam as heat could cut the carbon dioxide creation. Conversion of syngas to light fuels ethanol/methanol/dme will avoid particulate matter on burning.
Once developed, it could be adopted as the standard coal usage.
Such fuel could be used for ICEs but could be evolved to fuel cells too. Syngas could be used directly as piped gas fuel.


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PostPosted: Jun 30, 2017 8:40 am 
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Official announcement:

Southern Company and Mississippi Power announce suspension of gasification operations

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Southern Company and Mississippi Power today announced the company is immediately suspending start-up and operations activities involving the lignite gasification portion of the Kemper County energy facility. The combined cycle plant has been serving customers with reliable and affordable electricity for almost three years. The facility will continue to operate using natural gas pending the Mississippi Public Service Commission’s decision on future operations. This action is being taken to preserve the safety and health of the workforce and safety of the facility, while still retaining the necessary workforce to operate the combined cycle power plant. “We are committed to ensuring the ongoing focus and safety of employees while we consider the future of the project, including any possible actions that may be taken by the Commission,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “We believe this decision is in the best interests of our employees, customers, investors and all other stakeholders.” Southern Company and Mississippi Power believe this is the appropriate step to manage costs given the economics of the project and the Commission’s intent to establish a settlement docket to address Kemper-related matters including the future operation of the gasifier portion of the project.


This is a bitter end for this money-draining project. It along with Vogtle has taken away much of the ambition that Southern Company had for new and advanced projects at the start of this decade.


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PostPosted: Jul 11, 2017 9:44 am 
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Southern Company chips in $1 billion after halting troubled “clean coal” plant


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PostPosted: Mar 13, 2018 11:29 am 
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How America's clean coal dream unravelled

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Kemper, its managers claimed, would harness dirt-cheap lignite coal – the world’s least efficient and most abundant form of coal – to power homes and businesses in America’s lowest-income state while causing the least climate-changing pollution of any fossil fuel. It was a promise they wouldn’t keep. Last summer the plant’s owner, Southern Company, America’s second-largest utility company, announced it was abandoning construction after years of blown-out budgets and missed construction deadlines.


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PostPosted: May 22, 2018 8:49 pm 
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Southern Slims Down After Bets on Big Projects Fail to Pay Off

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Southern Co., which has spent billions of dollars to expand its U.S. utility empire, is now retrenching. The company said Monday it was selling nearly all the assets it owns in Florida to NextEra Energy Inc. for $5.1 billion as it pushes to cut debt from its acquisitions and complete a long-delayed nuclear project. The sale, which includes Gulf Power and Florida City Gas, will allow Southern to trim $3 billion from amount it needs to raise over the next five years. Southern isn’t done. Chief Executive Officer Tom Fanning wouldn’t rule out selling more assets on Monday during a call with analysts. The company expects to raise more than $1 billion by selling a stake of its solar portfolio. And it’s seeking $1 billion in third-party tax equity financing for its wind projects, Fanning said.

“They’ve got capital needs,” said Paul Patterson, a utility analyst for Glenrock Associates. “They have limited cash flow and they have a large amount of investments they want to make.”

The sale of Florida City Gas and Gulf Power, which Southern has owned for more than 90 years, comes at a critical time. The company is forging ahead with plans to build the first U.S. nuclear power plant in decades, despite construction delays and a total estimated price tag that’s soared to more than $25 billion. It’s also recovering from a $6.2 billion -- $4.1 billion after tax --writedown from a clean-coal power plant in Mississippi it scrapped last year. And the U.S. federal tax overhaul has weakened cash flow at Southern’s regulated utilities, leaving the company needing to raise money. The situation is a far cry from where Southern stood a few years ago. In 2015, the company announced a nearly $8 billion acquisition of gas-utility owner AGL Resources, which at the time made Southern the second-largest U.S. utility by customers. The following year, it spent $1.5 billion for a 50 percent stake in a Kinder Morgan Inc. pipeline system. Southern was also one of the most active buyers of solar and wind farms. Now, Southern is selling off pieces of the AGL business it acquired, including Florida City Gas. Last year, it sold two natural-gas distributors in New Jersey and Maryland for about $1.4 billion.

“Southern really would have preferred to hang onto these assets,” said Michael Weinstein, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG.

Including debt, the NextEra deal totals $6.48 billion, Southern said in a statement. The Florida City Gas deal may be completed in the third quarter, while the Gulf Power sale may be completed in the first half of 2019. The acquisition also includes companies holding Southern Power’s interests in the Oleander and Stanton plants. Southern is maintaining its interest in liquefied natural gas assets in Florida.

“Southern is more in a harvesting mode than an acquisition mode at this point,” said Kit Konolige, a utility analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence.


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PostPosted: May 24, 2018 4:13 am 
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The ability to use any new technology has crossed over to China. They are gassifying coal.


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