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Ameren Energy Resources’ Coffeen Plant Hits Environmental and Efficiency Milestones
Plant Has Spent $900 Million On Environmental Improvements Since 2000

Ameren Energy Resources’ second largest electric generating plant -- Coffeen Power Plant, Coffeen, Ill. – last week achieved significant milestones with the installation of environmental and efficiency improvements.
Recently, the plant commissioned a second scrubber, bringing to almost $900 million in spending for environmental improvement projects over the past decade. The plant also completed the installation of a new High Pressure/Intermediate Pressure (HP/IP) steam turbine. The HP/IP turbine is one of three sections that convert steam energy from the boiler into rotating energy, which is then converted to electric energy through the generator.

The plant’s steam turbine was originally installed in the early 1970s. The new HP/IP turbine capitalizes on advances in technology to convert the steam more efficiently than the original equipment---generating even more electricity while burning the same amount of coal.

The plant’s environmental projects have included the installation of two new scrubbers on both units of the coal-fired power plant, a precipitator upgrade on Unit 1 and a new precipitator on Unit 2, plus selective catalytic reduction systems on both units.

  • Reducing sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 90%, the scrubbers are designed to redirect the outlet stack gas through a spray-tower where the gas mixes with water, a 20% limestone mixture and compressed air. The sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the flue gas then reacts with the limestone and air to produce a gypsum by-product that can either be sold for commercial use – for wallboard manufacture or as a concrete additive - or placed in a landfill for disposal.
  • Electrostatic precipitators offer an efficient way to capture particulates before they escape into the atmosphere.
  • Designed to significantly reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, selective catalytic reduction breaks down NOx present in the exhaust gases into elemental benign nitrogen and water.

Installation of these technologies follows a host of other improvements to equipment and systems to increase operational efficiency and support cleaner water and air emissions at the plant. Overall NOx emissions have been reduced by 80 percent and SO2 emissions by over 90 percent-–making Coffeen Plant one of the cleanest coal-fired plants in the nation in terms of emissions.

“Clearly, the investment in increased efficiency and environmental technologies show our commitment to environmental stewardship,” says Jeff Coyle, Coffeen Plant manager. “It also reflects our commitment to the communities we serve not only by offering good jobs to local citizens but by providing clean energy and efficiently generating power to keep a lid on costs. In everything we do, we strive to lead the way to a secure energy future.”

Part of the Illinois community since the 1960s, Coffeen Plant pays $3.2 million annually in property and other taxes and employs 194 people. Construction of the scrubbers alone added approximately 15 new, permanent jobs, and provided 1,000 temporary jobs—many of these positions went to local residents.

The plant is built next to a 1,200-acre, man-made cooling lake, which is managed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Coffeen Lake provides outdoor recreational activities for boaters, anglers, campers and hunters. Lake temperatures are monitored continuously, and units are operated to achieve proper discharge temperatures. A 73-acre cooling basin and a series of 24 cooling towers were built and placed in service in July 2000 to keep Coffeen Lake temperatures within allowable limits during times of extreme heat.

Among its other environmental efforts, Coffeen Plant recycles more than 100,000 tons of coal ash annually—reducing the overall cost of generating electricity, saving valuable landfill space and preserving the natural landscape. In addition, plant employees have established a program that involves recycling oil filters, batteries, paper, aluminum cans and metals.

Ameren Energy Resources Company, LLC (AER), is the holding company for merchant generation and its energy marketing services for Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE). Ameren’s non-rate-regulated operations include AER’s Ameren Energy Generating Company’s and Ameren Energy Resources Generating Company’s six coal-fired plants, including Coffeen Plant, plus multiple natural gas-fired units. In addition, AER includes Ameren Energy Medina Valley Cogen L.L.C., which operates a natural gas-fired facility in Mossville, Ill., and Ameren Energy Marketing Company (AEM). AEM is responsible for the marketing and trading portfolios of 11 generating facilities in Illinois and Missouri. AEM serves the power needs of utilities, municipalities, electric cooperatives, energy aggregators, business customers and financial institutions.

With assets of approximately $24 billion, Ameren’s utility operating companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.

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Contact: Susan Gallagher, 314-554-2175