American Refining in Pennsylvania to replace coal-fired boiler this year

American Refining Group out of Pennsylvania said Feb. 15 that it is set to complete the final, construction phase of its $5.5 million project to replace its refinery’s lone remaining coal boiler this year.

While the earliest phases of work on the project began three years ago, actual construction only began in early February of this year. Environmental permitting approval was secured from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in September 2014, at which time requests for quotes went out to area contractors and suppliers.

Kessel Construction will complete the excavation and foundation work, while National Fuel Gas has installed the new meter needed to support the equipment. As 2016 unfolds, a pre-fabricated metal building will be installed to house the new boiler followed by the piping and electrical systems necessary to run it.

“This project required a significant degree of cross-functional collaboration among many departments here at ARG and with third-party agencies, providers and contractors,” said Jeannine Schoenecker, ARG president and chief operating officer.

When finished, the Bradford, Pa., refinery will be fired by a total of three cleaner, more-efficient natural gas boilers. Further, the new state-of-the-art boiler will be tied into the facility’s upgraded flare-gas-recovery system, allowing the refinery to achieve even higher levels of efficiency and environmental friendliness. The refinery processes Pennsylvania crude oil into various products, including gasoline and naphtha.

“Almost nothing that is used in our facility – whether propane, water, steam, catalyst or off-gases – is discarded,” Schoenecker noted. “These materials are recycled or are re-introduced at some point in our processes.”

ARG’s Boiler House, is located in the Mill Street area and generates the enormous amounts of steam required to support the refining process. It is anticipated that the new boiler will be in service by late fall 2016 and the 1970s-vintage coal boiler will be decommissioned.

“While it was a DEP mandate that we replace the coal boiler by 2017, it also simply makes good environmental and fiscal sense,” Schoenecker noted. “The vast majority of our workforce lives right here in McKean County and we clearly recognize the importance of stewardship for this community, our families and the generations to come.”

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.