Southern seeks Q1 2013 coal bids for Scherer power plant

Southern Company Services (SCS), as agent for Georgia Power and other Plant Scherer co-owners, said in a Dec. 4 solicitation that is considering the purchase of low-sulfur sub-bituminous coal to meet a portion the plant’s first-quarter 2013 needs.

SCS is considering the purchase of up to 7 trains/month (about 100,000 tons/month) for January-March 2013 deliveries. Seller is requested to submit pricing based on fixed price f.o.b. mine. Internet bids only will be received through 5:00 p.m. CST on Dec. 10. Faxed or mailed bids will not be considered.

Offers will be taken from all Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway origins. The BNSF serves all of the mines in both the Wyoming and Montana ends of the Powder River Basin.

Offered coal must have a sulfur level no greater than 0.6 lbs/mmBtu or 1.2 lbs SO2/mmBtu. Seller must have, at the loading point, a mechanical sampling system of “cutting the full coal stream” type or other system acceptable to SCS in order to have the proposal considered.

Shipments must be loaded in electro-pneumatic quick dump hopper cars. Unit train shipments will be scheduled by the SCS Fuel Department after seller’s transportation coordinator has received complete purchase documentation (i.e. Purchase Order and Terms and Conditions). Seller must be prepared to load unit trains 7 days per week, 24 hours per day. Price should be quoted f.o.b. railcar at the proposed loading facility.

“Please note that two of Scherer’s four scrubbers will be in operation during the period January-March 2013,” SCS noted. “Therefore, only 50% of the sulfur adjustment shall be made for shipments in that period. Seller shall take this into consideration when submitting bids.”

Scherer is getting new scrubbers on a staggered schedule under a Georgia multipollutant rule, but there is every indication that the plant co-owners will keep burning low-sulfur PRB coal as the economic fuel even with the scrubbers in place. At a total of 3,272 MW in four units, Scherer is one of the largest coal-fired plants in the U.S.

Noted the Georgia Power website: “Georgia Power pioneered scrubber technology for power plants in the early 1990s with a system installed at Plant Yates, Unit 1. Scrubbers are installed and are being utilized at plants Bowen, Hammond, Wansley, and Scherer. By late 2015, when the last scrubbers are scheduled to begin operations, all of Georgia Power’s large coal-fired power plants will be scrubbed.”

SCS and Georgia Power are both units of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO).

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.