Indiana agency revokes air permit for controversial coal gasification project

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management said in a March 5 notice that it has terminated a June 2012 air permit for the long-delayed Indiana Gasification LLC project, to have been located on the Ohio River near the coal-fired Rockport power plant.

The Indiana Gasification project would gasify coal, along with some petroleum coke, to make a syngas to be sold into the markets for regular natural gas. There was also a major power plant permitted to provide inside-the-fence electricity to the gasifier systems. There has been years of infighting over the project, with opponents like Vectren Corp. (NYSE: VVC) saying that state legislation mandating use of this syngas would drive up natural gas costs for state residents.

The Indiana agency said the company on Feb. 24 had requested termination of the permit, since it had not begun initial construction and a construction start deadline under the permit was looming. If the project has any life left in it, this termination means that air permitting would have to be started again, from scratch.

The backer of Indiana Gasification is Leucadia National Corp., which also in September 2014 decided not to proceed with further development of the Lake Charles clean energy project in Louisiana. That project would have used gasification technology to convert low-grade fuel fossils, mainly petroleum coke, into clean-energy products.

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.