GE’s Coal Treatment Technology Saves Utility $12 Million in Fuel Costs

 GE’s Coal Treatment Technology Saves Utility $12 Million in Fuel Costs

Florida utility company Lakeland Electric said it has saved $12 million in fuel costs at its coal-fired power plant unit by using General Electric’s (GE, NYSE: GE) coal treatment technology.
Lakeland Electric has used GE’s FuelSolv in Unit 3 of its McIntosh Power Generating Station. FuelSolv is a portfolio of specialty chemical additives that minimize combustion challenges such as slagging, and allow utilities to burn lower-grade, lower-cost, so-called opportunity coal like Northern Appalachian and Illinois Basin coal. Lakeland Electric said it had saved $12 million in fiscal year 2015, representing 15 to 20 percent of its annual coal supply costs, and improved efficiency in the unit. The utility has also saved an additional $500,000 in the unit’s operating costs from 2010 to 2014.
McIntosh had burned Eastern bituminous Central Appalachian (CAPP) coal for many years, but CAPP coal costs had increased over the years. The plant switched to opportunity coal starting May 2013. However, the lower-grade coal is more difficult to burn, and using it may cause plants to experience an increase in ash slag deposits on the boiler walls, super heater and reheater tubes. The deposits reduce efficiency and increase operating costs due to tube failures, decreased heat transfer and increased maintenance costs. Unit 3 was offline for standard mechanical cleaning from March to October 2014, and stayed online through all of 2015 while using the opportunity coal.   

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