HOUSTON Oct 29 A partnership between a
subsidiary of Southern Co and KBR Inc will market
a coal-gasification technology to power companies worldwide, the
companies said in a release on Monday.
An alliance between Southern Generation Technologies LLC
and KBR LLC will work to sell utilities a technology known as
Transport Integrated Gasification, or TRIG, which can be used to
gasify low-quality coal to generate electricity while reducing
carbon emissions to a level more like a typical natural
gas-fired power plant.
Southern Co and KBR developed TRIG technology under a U.S.
Department of Energy program.
"Through the development of TRIG technology, we've found a
way to preserve coal as an important, low-carbon energy resource
for America," said Southern Co Chief Executive Thomas Fanning,
in a statement.
Southern's Mississippi Power utility is building an
integrated-gasification-combined-cycle (IGCC) plant utilizing
TRIG technology and an adjacent lignite mine in Kemper County,
Mississippi, at a cost of $3 billion.
Since emission controls are built into the coal-gasification
process, the project is expected to have fewer sulfur dioxide,
particulate and mercury emissions than traditional pulverized
coal technology while capturing at least 65 percent of the
carbon dioxide produced, Southern said.
The agreement gives KBR exclusive global licensing rights
for power generation in addition to its existing rights in
industrial applications of TRIG, said Southern, which will
provide engineering and technology expertise.
The partnership hopes that as electric demand grows around
the world, the TRIG technology will be attractive to countries
seeking to use low-cost, abundant coal resources, like China,
India and Asia.
More than half the world's coal reserves consist of lower
quality lignite and sub-bituminous coal, Southern said, the type
of coal TRIG was developed to use.
China is expected to add more than 300,000 megawatts of new
coal-based generating capacity by 2035 while India and other
parts of Asia are projected to add more than 100,000 MW,
The alliance will "accelerate the adoption of TRIG in the
marketplace," said Bill Utt, KBR's chief executive officer.
Only two U.S. utilities are building coal-gasification power
plants, Duke Energy and Southern Co. A handful of
projects are in development while dozens of other proposals have
been abandoned due to rising costs and the lack of laws to limit
Previously, Southern and KBR licensed the technology to the
Tian Ming Electric Power Co for a facility under construction in