SCS Energy drops New Jersey coal gasification project

SCS Energy LLC has quietly dropped its 750-MW PurGen One coal gasification project in Linden, N.J., with its website saying that the commercial structure and process design for this project has been moved to its Hydrogen Energy California LLC project in Kern County, Calif.

“PurGen One is no longer under active development,” said the website. Hydrogen Energy California (HECA) is a fossil fuel gasification project with carbon capture and sequestration through enhanced oil recovery. SCS last year purchased HECA from the original developers, BP and Rio Tinto, and is modifying the design to include the SCS Energy polygeneration approach to make the project stronger economically. The HECA project will produce 300-MW of power as well as fertilizer and sulfur.

The Global CCS Institute, which tracks such projects, said in a note on its website: “This project was removed from the Institute’s LSIP listing in October 2012, following the announcement by SCS Energy that ‘PurGen One is no longer under active development’ and that it ‘has moved the commercial structure and process design for this project to the Hydrogen Energy California Project.'”

PurGen One was a coal gasification and polygeneration project with carbon capture and storage. Around 90% of the proposed integrated gasification combined cycle plant’s CO2 emissions was proposed to be captured and transported by pipeline for storage in offshore deep saline formations.

Said the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club in an Oct. 22 statement: “A coalition comprised of 37 environmental and social groups and concerned residents known as the ‘Stop PurGen Coalition’ have announced that their fight to defeat SCS Energy’s proposed coal and carbon sequestration power plant proposal is finally over. Since 2009, the coalition fought the construction of ‘PurGen,’ a proposed experimental 750 MW coal and carbon sequestration plant in Linden that would have used a 140-mile long pipeline through New Jersey’s coastal waters to pump liquefied carbon dioxide one mile below the Earth’s surface. SCS wanted to use an unproven technology to burn dirty coal to generate electricity and then use the experimental pipeline to carry the captured carbon dioxide and bury to it into the ocean floor off of the coast of Atlantic City.”

SCS Energy is a private power plant development company headquartered in Concord, Mass.

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.