EmberClear doubles Pennsylvania gas-fired project to 600 MW

Canada-based EmberClear Corp. (TSXV: EMB), which has shelved a coal gasification power plant project, said Nov. 13 that it has filed key documents with regulators for a second, 300-MW natural gas-based power plant in Schuylkill County, Pa.

EmberClear said it intends to develop Good Spring NGCC 2, a natural gas combined-cycle plant. Site control, feasibility, and PJM-interconnection filings have been accomplished and EmberClear plans to complete all necessary permitting requirements in the coming months.

Similar to the original 300-MW Good Spring NGCC 1 plant, the most advanced and proven turbine technologies available will be incorporated to yield industry leading operating efficiencies, the company said. Good Spring NGCC1 and Good Spring NGCC 2 rate as 20% more efficient than an average natural gas power plant and 38% more efficient than the average coal-fired plant, said the company, citing U.S. Energy Information Administration data.

“Good Spring NGCC 2 benefits greatly from the experience and relationships obtained during the development of Good Spring NGCC 1,” the company said. “Similar engineering, regulatory requirements, natural gas supplies, pipelines, grid interconnection, and labour market conditions result in meaningful speed and cost savings to take advantage of recent market trends such as the availability and price of natural gas, electricity pricing, and decommissioning coal based power plants in this region of the United States.”

“Utilizing our project development methods in this repeatable fashion improves the financial returns, lowers the execution risks, and accelerates the speed to a sale. Our business techniques leverage America’s abundance of natural gas and meshes nicely with the intensifying demand for reliable energy,” explained Albert Lin, CEO of EmberClear.

James Palumbo, President of EmberClear Power Pennsylvania, added: “Good Spring NGCC 1 is preparing for construction and undergoing the normal sales process for a developer. Having Good Spring NGCC 2 follow in its footsteps will benefit everyone. We look forward to extending the years of continued community and regulatory support for our efforts with this new project.”

Gas project evolved from original coal gasification plan

Said EmberClear in an Oct. 30 financial report filed in Canada: “EmberClear owns 100 percent of Future Power PA Inc. (‘FPPI’). FPPI is currently focused on the development of the Good Spring Power Project (‘Good Spring Power’) in Northeastern Pennsylvania. On December 8, 2010, EmberClear announced that the Good Spring Power Project had received all the necessary permits for the development and construction of an electricity power plant capable of generating up to 270 Megawatts (‘MW’). On May 17, 2012, EmberClear announced it was increasing the Good Spring Power Project output to 300 MW. Furthermore, the Company announced the Good Spring Power Project would be an NGCC power plant instead of an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (‘IGCC’) power plant as originally planned. This change results from the recent emergence of favourable long-term contract pricing for natural gas. In addition, this NGCC power plant will require one-third of the capital investment of an IGCC power plant and the simplified and smaller construction requirements is likely to reduce the construction time and allow commencement of operations within 24 months of construction start.”

The Oct. 30 financial report said the company still holds surface and mineral rights in Schuylkill County related to anthracite coal reserves that it intended to mine for the IGCC. In May 2011, EmberClear started a drilling program with the intention to quantify the coal deposit. The initial findings from the drilling program were included in an Amended National Instrument 43-101 for the Good Spring property, which indicates that there are 100 million to 216 million potential tons on the property in the 23 seams evaluated in the report.

“On March 14, 2012, Norwest published a NI 43-101 Technical Report incorporating the results from the Good Spring drilling program,” the Oct. 30 filing said. “The NI 43-101 Technical Report indicates that there are approximately 28.5 million resource tons and an additional 129 to 158 million potential tons of coal on the Good Spring Property. Coal quality ranges are representative of the historical quality of Anthracite coal in this region. EmberClear intends to explore business opportunities to mine and sell the Anthracite coal owned by the Company. Market interest for such an asset is highly dependent on the outlook for steel production and recycling. Over the past several years, the industry has experienced high volatility in the expectations for demand and subsequent interest in securing critical commodities in the industry such as Anthracite coal.”

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.