Tampa Electric to test new limestone in Big Bend coal plant scrubbers

Tampa Electric won a Feb. 24 approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for a temporary exemption related to testing of limestone for the SO2 scrubbers at the coal-fired Big Bend Power plant.

The TECO Energy (NYSE: TE) subsidiary wants to temporarily unload various types of limestone transported by truck, railcar and/or sea vessel to test in the wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems. The purpose of this project is to explore a higher quality of limestone from other sources to increase the performance of the FGD systems. Currently, the quality of the limestone has been inconsistent and appears to be impacting the performance of the existing FGD systems at Big Bend.

Tampa Electric is currently authorized to receive limestone via truck unloading. Therefore, Tampa Electric was approved to temporarily unload limestone transported by railcar and/or sea vessel while evaluating other sources of limestone. If it is determined that new limestone will be permanently transported by truck, railcar or sea vessel, the utility will submit an application to obtain an air construction permit. The testing project is planned to commence in late February 2015. 

The Big Bend Station is a nominal 1,892-MW facility located on Tampa Bay, with existing vessel and rail unloading facilities for coal and petroleum coke supplies. Tampa Electric plans to utilize the existing solids fuel yard handling system to temporarily unload limestone from the vessels and store in the south or north fuel areas. It also proposed to utilize the existing solids fuel yard and the railcar unloading and conveying system to unload limestone from the railcars.

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.