Ohio board seeks movement on gas-fired project of Air Products

The Ohio Power Siting Board in an April 6 order told Air Products and Chemicals Inc. to move ahead on getting a siting certificate for its gas-fired power project, or the long-dormant application will be dismissed.

In November 2010, Air Products and Chemicals filed an application for a certificate to construct and operate a waste energy recovery/combined cycle electric and steam generation facility at AK Steel Corp.’s Middletown Works in Middletown, Ohio. Air Products stated that it intended to commence construction by June 2011.

In April 2011, Air Products filed a motion for a temporary suspension of the proceeding, requesting that both a local public hearing and the evidentiary hearing be postponed. In support of its request. Air Products explained that economic issues and federal regulatory uncertainty had escalated the costs to build and operate the facility proposed in its application. Therefore, Air Products stated that it was hopeful that achieving acceptable permits would help to clarify the future of the project. However, Air Products requested that its application remain under consideration until further notice.

Since that time, Air Products has not filed any correspondence or pleadings before the board. So the board in its April 6 order said that by June 5, Air Products should file a status report in this docket, indicating whether it intends to pursue the proposed project, or this case will be dismissed.

Air Products in the 2010 application said that AK Steel burns about half of the generated gas from the Middletown Works blast furnace before releasing it to the atmosphere through an exhaust stack, a process called “flaring.” The plant uses the remainder of the gas in other operations. The proposed plant would capture about three-fourths of the blast furnace gas (BFG) to produce electricity and process steam. This project would be the first deployment in North America of a cogeneration facility using steel mill blast furnace gas to generate both electricity and process steam using a combined-cycle gas turbine technology, the company said at the time.

The Middletown Cogeneration Facility was designed to generate approximately 170 MWe gross of electrical power and would consist of one General Electric 7EA combustion turbine modified to combust BFG as well as natural gas and two conventional boilers designed to combust both BFG and natural gas. On an annual average basis, it would deliver approximately 107 MWe utilizing a combined cycle power plant consisting of the combustion turbine, heat recovery steam generator, condensing steam turbine and two auxiliary boilers designed to combust both BFG and natural gas.

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.