It's good for the environment and the economy-- in that it helps keep jobs here from being shipped over seas. It's Rain CII Carbon's heat recovery project which is green in a way that makes sense for investors--it will reduce pollution, provide power and help keep jobs in this country.
Rain CII Carbon produces 2.4 million tons of calcined petroleum coke at its plants one of which is south of Sulphur. It's a raw material used in the aluminum and titanium dioxide industries. Now heat from the process goes into the air-- but they're building a $70 million heat recovery project that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and produce electricity.
Gerry Sweeney is the company president and CEO from Connecticut. "So, we have the ability here through this $70 million project to capture those waste gases and cogenerate them, producing 30 plus megawatts of power essentially in a renewable resource type of situation where we can then sell that to the power grid and avoid someone burning fossil fuels in order to produce that. It's very environmentally friendly and essentially it's the right thing to do for industry."
District 4 Public Service Commissioner Clyde Holloway is pleased to see heat recovered to make power. "It's a win win project for Southwest Louisiana, Louisiana and America and the world because we're doing what it takes and I look for this, I hope, to happen over and over because heat recovery is the low hanging fruit that allows us to get a price that we can afford for our rate payers to buy electricity."
And it's a green project that's good for the economy because it keeps 47 jobs here from going overseas. Said Sweeney, "The viable alternative is for these jobs to go to China. And so we are giving long term viability to this plant and the employees that are here."
Sweeney says if more companies use such technology it could reduce the number of coal fired power plants needed. "There is a tremendous amount of waste heat emitted into the atmosphere every year. If that's captured we could easily avoid the next twenty coal fired power plants being built around the country."
By the way the calcining plant used to be Venco until Rain CII carbon bought it. Rain CII projects yearly production of more than 200-thousand megawatt hours of electricity and reduced greenhouse gas emissions of more than 150-thousand tons a year.
This project means about 140 construction jobs and five new permanent jobs. Construction is expected to last fourteen months.