This announcement follows the company's Aug. 2 statement that its Illinois-based generating subsidiaries and the administration of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich had reached an agreement to significantly reduce mercury emissions beginning in 2009, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 2012 and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 2015. That multi-pollutant emission reduction proposal is now subject to approval by the Illinois Pollution Control Board.
In July, Ameren also announced a unique alliance agreement with Hitachi Power Systems America, Ltd. The agreement will allow both companies to benefit from technology exchange in the areas of air quality control and efficient power generation.
This multi-year technology exchange agreement will give Ameren access to the groundbreaking work Hitachi is doing at its technology centers in advanced air quality controls and power technologies. Additionally, Hitachi will be able to study technologies outside the laboratory at Ameren's fossil- fueled power plants.
Scrubbers operate as chemical processing plants to reduce SO2 emissions from power plants. Crushed limestone is mixed with water to form a slurry. The slurry is sprayed into the combustion gas stream and reacts with the SO2 to form calcium sulfate, or gypsum. Gypsum is a non-hazardous substance that is removed from the scrubber system. Common uses for gypsum include making drywall for home or commercial construction or as an additive to concrete.
Scrubber projects are planned for AmerenUE's Sioux Plant in St. Charles County, Mo., and at two Illinois plants--AmerenEnergy Resources Generating Company's Duck Creek Plant and AmerenEnergy Generating Company's Coffeen Plant. A total of five scrubbers will be installed at the three facilities\-two scrubbers at Sioux, two at Coffeen and one at Duck Creek. Timing of installation is under review.
"These announcements and agreements support Ameren's ongoing commitment to controlling emissions," said Ameren Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Voss. "They build on the tremendous success we have already had in reducing emissions at our generating plants."
Under the 1990 Clean Air Act, Ameren companies were required to reduce total annual emissions of sulfur dioxide by about two-thirds by the year 2000. The Ameren companies had started to reduce emissions well before the act was passed and met this goal well ahead of schedule, largely by switching to low- sulfur coal.
The Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which became law in 2005, requires significant further reductions in SO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants. CAIR also requires significant additional reductions in nitrogen oxide (NOx), and another set of new regulations\-the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR)\- establishes the first requirements for mercury reductions in the world.
"Getting to the next level of emission reductions will require significant investment of capital and intellectual resources," Voss added.
Ameren now estimates its costs to meet the new regulations will range between $2.7 and $3.4 billion over the next 11 years.
"We have critical decisions to make in the coming years about the next baseload plant we will build to meet our customers' needs," Voss said. "We are looking forward to working with Hitachi, other utilities and industry experts to help us make these decisions\-and to working with the communities near our plants to help them understand why these investments are so important."
Bob Powers, Ameren's Vice President of Generation Technical Services, led negotiations with Hitachi. Powers stated, "Hitachi proved to us that they have world-class technology in both Air Quality Control and Power Generation Systems. Hitachi is also an innovative company with a responsive management team."
Through its operating companies, St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation serves 2.4 million electric customers and about 1 million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
Hitachi Power Systems America, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi America, Ltd., is a leading supplier of equipment and services for the Power Generation Market including Thermal, Nuclear, and Hydro facilities. Products include advanced Pulverized Coal Boilers, HRSG's, Turbines, Substation Equipment and Air Quality Control Systems for new plants and retrofit applications. Hitachi Power Systems America is Hitachi's Global Center of Excellence for the emissions market including Wet Flue Gas Desulfurization (WFGD) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology.
Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., markets and manufactures a broad range of electronics, computer systems and products, and consumer electronics, and provides industrial equipment and services throughout North America. For more information, visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.us.
Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 356,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2005 (ended March 31, 2006) consolidated sales totaled 9,464 billion yen ($80.9 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the companys website at http://www.hitachi.com.
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