Mitsubishi Heavy unit wins major scrubber order from TVA

22 November 2002 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said Thursday that Advatech LLC, its US joint venture with California engineering firm URS Corp., has won its first order for a flue gas desulfurization system from major US power company Tennessee Valley Authority.

The TVA Board approved a $1.5 billion contract to install pollution-control equipment at TVA fossil plants that will improve air quality throughout the region.

Under the contract, Advatech LLC will design, manufacture, deliver, and install five flue gas desulfurization systems (known as scrubbers) at TVA’s Paradise, Bull Run, Colbert, and Kingston fossil plants over the next eight years. Two scrubbers will be installed at Kingston to reduce emissions from nine units. The contract also provides for installation of additional scrubbers as determined by TVA.

The scrubbers will remove about 200 000 tons of sulphur dioxide from TVA coal plant emissions. When the scrubbers are completed, TVA’s SO2 emissions will be reduced by about 85 per cent by the end of the decade compared to emission levels in the late 1970s. Scrubbers use limestone to remove sulphur from the flue gas in coal-fired power plants.

“TVA is in the midst of one of the largest emissions-reduction programs in the country, and adding these scrubbers is part of our commitment to cleaner air and clear skies in the Tennessee Valley and the nation,” said TVA Chairman Glenn McCullough Jr. “While the debate on air quality legislation continues, we at TVA are focused on improving environmental conditions for the people of the Valley.”

Advatech will locate its corporate headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, and will open a project management office in Chattanooga. Advatech was formed by URS Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to perform the necessary work for scrubber installations across the United States.

The first of the five scrubbers will be installed at Paradise Unit 3 in western Kentucky, with 300 jobs expected to be created during construction scheduled to begin next year. No schedule has been finalized for the other projects.

“The locations for these scrubbers will provide the greatest environmental benefit for the investment and will help improve air quality in the mountains of east Tennessee and western North Carolina,” said TVA Director Bill Baxter.

Both the Kingston and Bull Run plants are in east Tennessee, and Colbert is in north Alabama. TVA already has built six scrubbers at its largest units. Two are operating at Cumberland in middle Tennessee, two at Paradise, and two at Widows Creek in north Alabama.

TVA is the nation’s largest public power producer, and its power system is self-financed. It provides power to large industries and 158 power distributors that serve 8.3 million consumers in seven southeastern states.

At present, about half of all power generated in the US, or around 33 000 MW, is produced at fossil-fuel-fired plants, but only 25 per cent of those plants are equipped with flue gas scrubbers. By 2018, the US government is expected to reduce permitted sulphur oxide emissions by 7 per cent, a requirement expected to drive demand for scrubbers to the 1 trillion yen level by 2010.

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