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Lake Charles Gasification

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

Lake Charles Gasification is a coal gasification plant proposed by Leucadia for Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.[1]

Background

On June 22, 2009, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality issued a construction permit to Lake Charles Cogeneration, authorizing the construction of the Lake Charles Gasification facility designed to gasify over 7000 tons per day of petroleum coke to methane/substitute natural gas and sulfuric acid. The plant, located in Calcasieu Parish, will be owned by Leucadia Energy, which said it plans to capture 85 percent, or 4.5 million tons, of the carbon dioxide produced by the plant and pipe it to Texas for use in enhanced oil recovery.

On December 17, 2010, Leucadia/Lake Charles Cogeneration submitted an application to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for a modified construction/Title V permit for its proposed gasification facility planned for Calcasieu Parish. The company originally received its air permit back in June 2009, which was set to expire on December 22, 2010. According to the application for the modification, Leucadia is modifying the facility so it can produce methanol. The department agreed to expedite the modified permit review, and on December 31, 2010 - two weeks later - issued a final modified Title V/PSD permit for the facility.

As of July 2010, the site had been cleared, but actual construction of the proposed facility had not begun. The current PSD/construction permit expires on December 22, 2010, but according to media reports, Leucadia is considering expanding operations to produce methanol instead of natural gas, which would require a reopening of the facility’s air permit.[2]

Federal funding

Leucadia has received federal financial support for the estimated $2 billion plant, including $1 billion in tax-exempt Gulf Opportunity Zone bonds and $800 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the U.S. Department of Energy (awarded in two phases). In July 2010, Leucadia asked for an additional $400 million in Gulf Opportunity bonds.

On April 29, 2011, the DOE announced that it intented to prepare an EIS for the Leucadia/Lake Charles Cogeneration project. DOE selected this project for an award of financial assistance through a competitive process under the Industrial Carbon Capture and Sequestration (ICCS) Program.[3]

Project Details

Sponsor: Leucadia
Location: Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana
Capacity:
Type: Pet coke to methanol/gas
Projected in service:
Status: Active

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References

  1. "Stopping the Coal Rush" Sierra Club, accessed November 2011.
  2. "Stopping the Coal Rush" Sierra Club, accessed November 2011.
  3. "Stopping the Coal Rush" Sierra Club, accessed November 2011.

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