Formosa permits 160 MW of new capacity at Texas plant

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 6 office is taking public comment until July 21 on a draft greenhouse gas permit for Formosa Plastics Corp. to build new gas-fired capacity at its facilities in Point Comfort in Calhoun County, Texas

Due to lack of interest in this draft permit, EPA has cancelled a July 31 public hearing.

In December 2012, EPA Region 6 received this Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit application from Formosa Plastics for a proposed construction project to expand Formosa’s existing chemical complex in Point Comfort. This expansion project consists of two new combined-cycle gas-fired combustion turbines, a new low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant, and an olefins expansion. Formosa submitted three separate permit applications for these expansions and this draft permit currently up for comment is only for the GHG emissions for one of those expansions, the addition of two new combined-cycle gas-fired turbines to provide additional power for Formosa’s operations.

In connection with the same proposed construction project, Formosa submitted an application for an amendment to its current PSD permit for non-GHG pollutants to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The proposed GHG PSD permit would authorize Formosa to modify its existing utility plant to add two General Electric 7EA combined-cycle gas-fired combustion turbines, each with heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), to the existing six GE 7EA gas-fired combustion turbines. Each of the two proposed GE 7EA natural gas-fired turbine generators will have a gross output of 80 MW and the HRSGs would have a steam output of 360,000 lb/hr with duct firing.

Steam from the HRSGs will be routed to the existing utility plant steam header to combine with steam produced by the existing utility plant. Steam is routed from the steam header to the three existing steam turbines for electricity generation or it can be used for thermal energy in other operational chemical production processes on-site. The Formosa utility plant provides the electricity and steam demands of the Formosa chemical complex and does not provide electricity to the grid.

A project contact is: Randy Smith, Vice President, Formosa Plastics Corp.-Texas, P.O. Box 700, Point Comfort, Texas 77978, (361) 987-7000.

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.