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). Another set of new regulations\-the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR)\- establishes the first requirements for mercury reductions in the world. Meanwhile, interest is growing worldwide in controlling carbon dioxide (CO2), a leading "greenhouse" gas.
"Getting to the next level of emission reductions will require significant investment of capital and intellectual resources," Rainwater said. Ameren has stated that it now estimates its costs to meet the new regulations will range between $2.1 and $2.9 billion through 2015, unless state regulations require further reductions.
To help Ameren address future reductions in SO2, NOx, mercury, CO2, and other pollutants, the multi-year technology exchange agreement with Hitachi will give Ameren access to the groundbreaking work Hitachi is doing at its technology centers in advanced air quality controls and power technologies. This research work includes high-efficiency boilers and integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC). Additionally, Hitachi will be able to study technologies outside of the laboratory at Ameren's operating fossil fired power plants.
"Access to this technology is critical as we evaluate our options for future baseload generation additions," Rainwater said. "Our alliance agreement allows us to build on Ameren's legacy as a leader in lowering emissions as we plan projects and investments that will help our industry meet emission standards over the next decade."
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 Desulphurization (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 http://www.hitachi.us.
Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 347,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2004 (ended March 31, 2005) consolidated sales totaled 9,027.0 billion yen ($84.4 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 company's website at http://www.hitachi.com.
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