SunCoke permits coke and power plant in Kentucky

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking comment on an application by SunCoke Energy (NYSE: SXC) to locate a new coal-consuming coke plant along the left descending bank of the Ohio River at South Shore in Greenup County, Ky.

SunCoke, the top independent coke producer in the U.S., has been hinting lately that it has been looking at a new coke plant at an unnamed site in Kentucky. It is seeking a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit for this project due in part to a need to do fill work at the site that would impact waters within Corps jurisdiction.

“The proposed project would consist of the construction and operation of a heat-recovery coke facility within an approximate 250-acre site,” said a Corps notice. “The proposed facility would include 120 heat-recovery coke ovens, a coal handling and processing area, coke handling area, material storage piles, pollution control equipment, condensers, a barge unloading facility, rail spurs, administration buildings, roadways, and a parking area. The primary purpose of the project is to produce coke that would be used in the steel industry. At full capacity, the facility would carbonize 1,226,400 tons of coal per year and produce up to 831,000 tons of coke per year.”

SunCoke also proposes to install heat recovery steam generators to recover waste heat from the coke ovens to produce steam and electricity. A nominal 40 MW to 75 MW would be produced annually from the waste heat. The company has done something similar at other coke plants.

Proposed work within the Ohio River includes the installation of a barge unloading facility, the placement of bank stabilization, the installation of a cooling water intake structure, the installation of a non-process water discharge system, and initial and annual maintenance dredging. The proposal would also include the installation of a new aerial transmission line crossing the Ohio River.

The barge unloading facility would be utilized for coal delivery. It would include the installation of two mooring towers with a floating barge located between them. Two additional mooring towers and six dolphin moorings would be installed to accommodate barge fleeting for up to twelve  standard barges or six jumbo barges. The proposed barge unloading dock would consist of a hydraulic excavator, barge haul system, electric building, coal reclaim hopper, and conveyor system.

SunCoke proposes to install a new 138-kV electric transmission line over the Ohio River to connect the proposed project to the existing Millbrook Park Substation located in Scioto County, Ohio, about 1.2 miles north of the proposed project area. 

SunCoke is an independent owner and operator of five cokemaking facilities in the eastern and Midwest U.S. and operator of a cokemaking facility for a project company in Brazil. The coking operations include blast furnace coke manufacturing at its Jewell facility in Vansant, Va.; Indiana Harbor in East Chicago, Ind.; Haverhill North in Franklin Furnace, Ohio; Gateway in Granite City, Ill.; and Middletown in Middletown, Ohio. During 2012, SunCoke sold approximately 4.4 million tons of coke to its three primary customers in the U.S.: ArcelorMittal, AK Steel and U.S. Steel. Its total current U.S. cokemaking capacity is approximately 4.2 million tons of coke per year, with the Kentucky project to potentially boost that to about 5 million tons per year.

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.