Alstom has announced a new contract to deliver an emission control system for Unit 4 of Minnesota Power’s Boswell Energy Center. Once installed alongside the 585 megawatt coal-fired power unit, Alstom’s NID™ semi-dry flue gas desulphurization system will reduce the plant’s environmental footprint by cutting mercury emissions by 90% and significantly curbing emissions of sulphur dioxide and other pollutants.
“When completed, Boswell 4 and our recently retrofitted Boswell 3 will be two of the cleanest coal-fired units in the nation,” said Al Hodnik, Chairman, President and CEO of ALLETTE, Inc. (NYSE: ALE), Minnesota Power’s parent company.
The Boswell 4 NID™ installation is part of Minnesota Power’s $350 million effort to make the unit fully-compliant with both state and federal regulations. This project also is a key component of the company’s Energy Forward strategy that includes further reducing emissions at its existing plants and additional generation from renewables and natural gas, creating a diverse energy mix of 1/3 coal, 1/3 renewable and 1/3 natural gas.
By capturing multiple pollutants with a single unit, Alstom’s NID™ technology eliminates the need for Minnesota Power to install multiple emission control systems. When Boswell 4’s NID unit comes online, the plant will satisfy the latest U.S. environmental regulations.
“A retrofitted Boswell 4 will help ensure the continuation of reliable and competitively priced baseload energy for our large industrial customers that fuel our region’s economic engine. This project will create 500 construction jobs and result in significant environmental benefits for years to come,” Hodnik said.
The project is pending Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approval. A decision is anticipated from the MPUC in September.
Alstom’s NID™ technology is an all-in-one emission control system that captures many of the most common pollutants associated with fossil fuel-fired power generation. Its design is based on independent modules and a variable width meaning it can be easily scaled up or down to meet power plant emission control requirements. At one-half the size of a standard spray dryer, NID™ is ideally suited for installation at existing power plants where space is limited.
The Boswell 4 project will be led by Alstom’s North American Environmental Control Systems (ECS) team based in Knoxville, Tennessee. Alstom has to-date installed more than 60 NID™ systems worldwide including one in Delaware, one in Massachusetts and two in Pennsylvania. The Boswell project is Alstom’s fifth recent U.S. NID™ contract and the company currently is in the engineering stage of five additional U.S. projects scheduled to break ground in late 2013.