NRG, Mitsubishi complete a CO2 capture system at Parish plant in Texas

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America Inc. (MHIA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan (MHI) (TOKYO:7011), said Jan. 10 that it has successfully completed construction of the world’s largest post-combustion CO2 capture and compression system, which is located in Texas.

The system is based on MHI’s proprietary KM CDR Process and high-performance KS-1 amine solvent, which was jointly developed by MHI and Kansai Electric Power Co. and is used for CO2 absorption and desorption. The system captures CO2 from a 240-MW equivalent coal exhaust slipstream from Unit 8 at NRG Energy Inc.’s (NYE: NRG) W. A. Parish station in Thompsons, Texas, and is rated at 4,776 metric tons per day of CO2 captured.

MHIA, together with MHI, licensed and provided the KM CDR Process and KS-1 solvent and delivered overall system design services, engineering, procurement for major system equipment (from primarily U.S.-based vendors), operator training, and commissioning support. MHIA formed a consortium with TIC (The Industrial Company) for execution of a full turnkey contract of the CO2 capture plant. The MHIA–TIC consortium was awarded the deal in July 2014, began construction in September 2014 and completed the performance tests in December 2016.

The CO2 capture and compression system at W.A. Parish is part of the Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project, which is jointly promoted by NRG and JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp. Captured CO2 will be transported through an 81-mile pipeline and used for enhanced oil recovery at the West Ranch Oilfield, located on the Gulf Coast of Texas.

MHI said that it has, through successful deployment of the KM CDR Process and KS-1 Solvent, delivered 11 commercial plants for natural gas and oil combustion exhaust gases and holds an outstanding market share in the world in the field of post combustion CO2 capture. MHI has taken several steps to commercialize the technology, including extensive R&D efforts. In 2006, MHI successfully conducted a demonstration test, at a scale of 10 metric tons per day, in cooperation with Electric Power Development Co. Ltd. (J-POWER). In 2011, MHI, together with Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), successfully proved the reliability of the KM CDR Process in a joint demo project at Alabama Power’s Plant Barry coal-fired station, operating at a scale of 500 metric tons per day.

First CO2 capture was back in September 2016

“Completion of the Petra Nova project is an important milestone in our quest to help ensure reliable, affordable and increasingly cleaner energy from fossil fuels,” said Mauricio Gutierrez, President and CEO of NRG Energy. “This project represents another major step in NRG’s effort to reduce our carbon emissions and create a more sustainable energy future, and we are proud that this accomplishment was achieved on-budget and on-schedule in a competitive energy environment. I want to thank our partners at JX Nippon, Hilcorp and the U.S. Department of Energy as well as the State of Texas, our contractors and lenders for their commitment to the successful completion of this landmark project.”

Petra Nova first captured CO2 on Sept. 19, 2016, and has delivered more than 100,000 tons of captured CO2 to the West Ranch field. Final performance acceptance testing on the facility was completed on Dec. 29, 2016, and the facility turned over for operations. During performance testing, the system met all performance criteria including capturing more than 90% of CO2 from the 240-MW equivalent slipstream. At this level of operation, Petra Nova can capture more than 5,000 tons of CO2 per day.

“JX Nippon is very pleased to see the construction of the Carbon Capture System completed and operations commencing as planned, thanks to the great effort made by the Petra Nova team,” said Shunsaku Miyake, President and CEO of JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation. “We believe this project will contribute to significantly increasing incremental crude oil production from legacy oil fields and also will be a major step forward in helping to decrease CO2 emissions globally.”

Construction on the Petra Nova project began in 2014 with a goal to be operational by the end of 2016. With construction completed, on-budget and on-schedule, the Petra Nova carbon capture facility has achieved this goal.

Hilcorp Energy Co., the operator of West Ranch oilfield, will use the captured CO2 to boost production at West Ranch oilfield, jointly owned by NRG, JX Nippon and Hilcorp. Both Hilcorp and the University of Texas Bureau Of Economic Geology will monitor the movement of CO2 deep in the oil reservoir. Over the next few years, oil production at the field is currently estimated to increase from approximately 300 barrels per day before beginning Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) operations to production of up to 15,000 barrels per day using captured CO2.

“To date we have drilled nearly 100 new wells in the West Ranch field and have implemented a robust CO2 and ground water monitoring program,” said Jeffery D. Hildebrand, Chairman and CEO of Hilcorp Energy.

Petra Nova is 50-50 joint venture by NRG and JX Nippon. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is providing up to $190 million in grants as part of the Clean Coal Power Initiative Program (CCPI). A portion of the project was financed with loans from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Mizuho Bank, backed by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).

In addition to Petra Nova, NRG said it is helping to build a lower-carbon energy future in multiple ways including a growing renewable energy portfolio, the development of fast-start, flexible natural gas turbines, which are low carbon in their own right and help to integrate renewables into the grid, and coal-to-gas conversions and additions. NRG operates more than 7,000 MW of fast-start natural gas and has modified more than 2,780 MW of older coal-fueled steam generation to use natural gas, reducing their carbon intensity roughly by half. These efforts are the foundation of NRG’s commitment to achieve NRG Energy’s carbon reduction goals of 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050.

JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration engages in oil and natural gas exploration and production (E&P) business in the JX Group. The JX Group is the leading integrated energy, resources and materials business group in Japan. It is currently expanding crude oil and natural gas E&P business in 13 countries around the world. In the U.S., it holds assets in the Gulf of Mexico, which range from the continental shelf to the deep water area.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, headquartered in Tokyo, is one of the world’s leading industrial firms with 80,000 group employees and annual consolidated revenues of around 38 billion U.S. dollars. 

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, headquartered in Houston, Texas, serves as the central oversight office of MHI operations throughout North America, providing corporate functions to local subsidiaries. MHIA oversees more than 100 bases across 30 states covering a wide range of businesses including chemical plants, transportation systems, corrugating machinery, machine tools, tire machinery and aircraft. MHIA covers operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

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.