B&W wins contract for emissions controls at Ottumwa coal plant

The Babcock & Wilcox Co. (NYSE: BWC) announced Dec. 23 that subsidiary Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group has been awarded a $43m contract to engineer and supply a spray dry absorber (SDA) system and a pulse jet fabric filter baghouse for Interstate Power and Light’s (IPL) Ottumwa coal plant in Iowa.

The contract award was from architectural, engineering and construction firm Burns & McDonnell. The SDA system will control SO2 and the baghouse will control particulate emissions from the 726-MW plant. Engineering work for the project is currently underway and start-up is anticipated for May 2014.

“B&W is pleased and appreciative to have been selected by prime contractor Burns & McDonnell and the utility, IPL, for the opportunity to supply equipment for this environmental upgrade project,” said Richard Killion B&W PGG President and COO. “New federal regulations, including the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), have created a need for efficient and effective emissions control technology.”

IPL is a unit of Alliant Energy (NYSE:LNT). Alliant said in a Nov. 6 presentation at an Edison Electric Institute conference that newly-installed or planned retrofits at three IPL coal plants are in the works, with Ottumwa due to get mercury and SO2 controls, and Lansing Unit 4 and Neal units 3-4 getting mercury, NOx and SO2 controls.

U.S. Energy Information Administration data shows Ottumwa taking coal in August 2011 only from the Buckskin mine, which is in the Wyoming Powder River Basin and operated by Kiewit Mining Group. In the eastern U.S., addition of SO2 scrubbing equipment like an SDA often allows a switch to cheaper, higher-sulfur coal. But plants like Ottumwa, located near a cheap source of low-sulfur coal like the PRB, usually stick to the existing coals once the scrubbing equipment is installed.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Babcock & Wilcox is a leader in clean energy technology and services, primarily for the nuclear, fossil and renewable power markets, as well as a premier advanced technology and mission critical defense contractor.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.