October 5, 2018 Read More →

Risks mount for coal worldwide

Capital Projects and Contracts:

While President Donald Trump continues his efforts to revive the coal industry, governments across the Atlantic are vowing to crack down on greenhouse gas pollution and stop the use of the fossil fuel.

Gonzalo Garcia, the global co-head of natural resources at Goldman Sachs Group, believes that Western Europe may already have built its last coal-fired power plant; and there is a growing list of financial institutions that have pledged to end their involvement in coal power projects, including Standard Chartered, Lloyd’s of London and the World Bank.

Coal-fired projects that aim to minimise greenhouse emissions while maximising efficiency are, despite technological advancements, still risky. A proposed gasified coal-fired  project at Łęczna in Poland risks high build costs and unreliable operation, given experience of similar technology in the USA, said a report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

The report draws parallels between the proposal by the Polish utility ENEA SA and two projects in the USA: Southern Company’s Kemper County energy facility in Mississippi and Duke Energy’s Edwardsport power station in Indiana.

“Overall, the US experience has shown that it is extremely expensive to build and operate new IGCC (integrated gasification combined cycle) power plants, and that, once completed, these plants do not operate reliably,” said David Schlissel, IEEFA’s director of resource planning analysis. “This is especially true for systems involved in the gasification of coal.”

More: Coal comes under pressure

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