CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX) held a July 11 dedication ceremony for its new Northern West Virginia Water Treatment Plant, an advanced water treatment facility near Mannington, W.Va.
The new facility, which is CONSOL’s 103rd water treatment operation, is designed to treat a maximum flow of 3,500 gallons per minute of mine water. The sources of the water are CONSOL’s Blacksville#2, Loveridge and Robinson Run longwall mining operations in the Pittsburgh coal seam. The mine water is pretreated at these locations for metals removal prior to conveyance through about 34 miles of pipeline spanning virtually three West Virginia counties to the new centralized treatment facility.
“This facility is significant to CONSOL Energy and West Virginia on many levels. First and foremost, it allows CONSOL Energy to sustain our investment in our longwall mining operations and the numerous family-sustaining jobs required to support those operations in northern West Virginia for the next twenty to thirty years,” said Nicholas DeIuliis, President of CONSOL. “It also supports our transformation into a truly diversified energy company. When we launched the Water Division one year ago, we laid out our strategy of identifying synergies across our operations to streamline operations, convert liabilities into assets, and minimize our environmental footprint.”
“This water treatment facility will allow CONSOL to continue its mining operations while helping to protect our state’s waterways and, in turn, keep West Virginians on the job,” West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said at the dedication ceremony. “Innovations like this plant, keep West Virginia on the forefront of meeting our nation’s energy needs while continuing to improve efforts to protect the environment.”
The chosen design of the new facility is based on a Zero Liquid Waste (ZLW) treatment process, made up of a raw water pretreatment system, a reverse osmosis membrane system, evaporation and crystallization of reverse osmosis reject, and ancillary support systems. The residuals from the treatment process, including softening sludge and mixed salts, will be disposed of in an on-site landfill. No liquid or solid waste from the water treatment operations will leave CONSOL’s property.
“CONSOL Energy’s 150 years of natural resource development expertise combined with Veolia’s 160 years of water treatment experience has resulted in an integrated system of state-of-the-art water treatment technologies that ensures proper management of the region’s water resources,” commented Klaus Andersen, Senior Vice President and COO, Industry, of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies.
Completed in May, the construction of the facility got underway in April 2011, generating 400 new construction jobs over the life of the project as well as 30 full-time permanent jobs required to operate and maintain the facility. CONSOL has entered into an operating agreement with Veolia Water, a division of Veolia Environnement, a global leader in sustainable environmental services. The 10-year operating agreement is backed by a performance guarantee that ensures the future success of the facility.
The Water Treatment Facility was constructed to meet regulatory standards imposed by the West Virginia Department of Environmental of Protection for chloride content of water discharged to receiving streams.
CONSOL is a Pittsburgh-based producer of coal and natural gas. It has 12 bituminous coal mining complexes in four states and reports proven and probable coal reserves of 4.2 billion tons.