Shell Chemical nears air permit for 250-MW power project in Pennsylvania

Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC is close to an air permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for the construction of a petrochemicals complex, which will include a 250-MW power plant, to be located on the site formerly occupied by Horsehead Corp.‘s Monaca Zinc Smelter plant in Potter and Center townships in Beaver County.

The department said in a notice in the March 28 Pennsylvania Bulletin that it will hold a public hearing on May 5 in Monaca, Pa., to take oral testimony regarding this Air Quality Plan Approval application. Written comment will be taken for 30 days from March 28.

Polyethylene pellets will be the final manufactured product of this facility. The pellets will be produced from one of two gas phase or one slurry technology polyethylene production lines. Combined design capacity for the three polyethylene production lines will be 1.6 million metric tons of polyethylene pellets per year. Ethylene will be manufactured on site as an intermediate product at this facility. Ethylene will be produced by cracking ethane feedstock received by pipeline. Design capacity for ethylene production will be 1.5 million metric tons per year. The ethylene will be entirely used on site as the primary feedstock for the polyethylene production lines.

Byproducts of the ethylene production process will include light gasoline, pyrolysis fuel oil, coke residue/tar, and a mixture of propane and heavier hydrocarbons.

Three combustion turbines with duct burners and heat recovery steam generators will also be located at this facility to provide electricity and steam for use on site. Total generating capacity will be approximately 250 MW. Excess electricity will be sold to the grid in sufficient quantities to classify this facility as an electric utility.

Air contamination sources and controls to be authorized at this site include:

  • Seven tail gas- and natural gas-fired ethane cracking furnaces, 620 MMBtus/hr heat input rating each; equipped with low-NOx burners and controlled by selective catalytic reduction (SCR);
  • One ethylene manufacturing line, 1,500,000 metric tons/yr; compressor seal vents and startup/shutdown/maintenance/upsets controlled by the high pressure header system (HP System);
  • Two gas phase polyethylene manufacturing lines, 550,000 metric tons/yr each; volatile organic compound (VOC) emission points controlled by the low pressure header system (LP System) or HP System, PM emission points controlled by filters;
  • One slurry technology polyethylene manufacturing line, 500,000 metric tons/yr; VOC emission points controlled by the LP System or HP System, PM emission points controlled by filters;
  • One LP System; routed to the LP incinerator, 10 metric tons/hr capacity, with backup multipoint ground flare (MPGF), 74 metric tons/hr total capacity;
  • One (1) HP System; routed to two (2) HP enclosed ground flares 150 metric tons/hr capacity each, with backup emergency elevated flare, 1,500 metric tons/hr capacity;
  • Three General Electric Frame 6B natural gas-fired combustion turbines, 40.6 MW (475 MMBtus/hr heat input rating) each, including natural gas- or tail gas-fired duct burners, 189 MMBtus/hr heat input rating each; controlled by SCR and oxidation catalysts;
  • Four diesel-fired emergency generator engines, 5,028 bhps rating each;
  • Three diesel-fired fire pump engines, 700 bhp rating each;
  • One process cooling tower, 28 cell counter-flow mechanical draft, 18.3 MMgals/hr water flow capacity; controlled by drift eliminators; and
  • One cogen cooling tower, 6 cell counter-flow mechanical draft, 4.44 MMgals/hr water flow capacity; controlled by drift eliminators.

Shell Chemical Appalachia is working at PJM Interconnection for an interconnect agreement on this project, which is composed of three simple cycle gas turbine generators (GTGs) and two steam turbine generators (STGs). “The installed facilities will have a total capability of 205 MW with 97 MW of this output being recognized by PJM as capacity,” said a PJM-authored Facility Study on the project dated January 2015. “The proposed in-service date for this project is July 1, 2018. This study does not imply a Duquesne Light Company (DLCO) commitment to this in-service date.”

This project, under PJM queue #Y3-103 and an application first filed in April 2013, will interconnect with the Duquesne transmission system with two radial transmission lines from the planned Potter 138-kV substation. The addition of the Potter substation must be completed prior to the operation of this queue project. This proposed substation will be at the site of the former St. Joseph Mineral 138-kV substation. Horsehead Corp. years ago bought this St. Joseph Mineral site.

The town of Monaca is on the Ohio River, northwest of Pittsburgh near the state line with Ohio. Shell is known in this report as the Interconnection Custmer (IC). Said the study: “IC has proposed construction of a 205 MW net output natural gas fueled generator at the site of the former St. Joe Mineral customer. This site is located along the Ohio River at 300 Frankfort Road, Monaca, PA 15061 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.” This study is an interim step in a queue process that culminates with the signing of an Interconnection Service Agreement.

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.