Seminole gets tougher SO2 emissions standard for its coal plant

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection on Sept. 6 issued a final air construction permit to Seminole Electric that authorizes improvements to the scrubbers on the coal-fired Seminole Units 1-2, prohibits the use of petroleum coke fuel and establishes more stringent SO2 emission standards for Units 1-2.

The work authorized by the permit includes physical and operational improvements to, and testing of, the scrubbers on Units 1-2 to improve their SO2 removal efficiency and effectiveness. The permitting action removes petroleum coke, an oil refining byproduct with inherently high sulfur levels, as an authorized fuel for Units 1-2 and establishes SO2 emission standards of 95% removal or 0.25 lbs/MMBtu heat input on a 30-day rolling average.

The work is authorized to begin upon finalization of the permit. The revised emission standards and removal of petcoke as an authorized fuel shall become effective upon the effective date of EPA’s approval of these specific requirements in the Florida Regional Haze State Implementation Plan, and the compliance date for the emission standard is to be as soon as practicable after its effectiveness, but no later than March 1, 2016.

Consisting of two 650-MW coal-fired units, the Seminole plant began commercial operation in 1984, said the Seminole Electric website. The fully-scrubbed plant’s washed coal specs are 8.5% ash, 3% sulfur, delivered primarily from mines in western Kentucky and southern Illinois at 11,700 Btu/lb, the website added. A primary coal supplier is Alliance Resource Partners LP (NASDAQ: ARLP).

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.