TEC, a $3.5 billion project to convert Illinois coal into clean burning substitute natural gas (SNG) and electricity, is expected to consume approximately 1.5-2.4 million tons per year of local, bituminous coal. Mining, processing and delivering the coal needed to power the project will create hundreds of permanent jobs in mining and related industries in Illinois. SNG produced by the gasification process will be used to power TEC’s combined cycle power block, generating 716 megawatts (602 mw net) of baseload power for Illinois. Electricity generated by the plant will power 600,000 homes.
“This project is good for the community and critical to revitalizing Illinois’ struggling coal industry,” said Phil Gonet, president of the Illinois Coal Association. “We see, and a recent University of Illinois-Illinois Chamber of Commerce Study found, that clean coal gasification technology is a key to the future of economic development in our state.”
Most Illinois plants currently import coal from other states because the high sulfur content of Illinois coal makes it environmentally and economically difficult to use cleanly with conventional technology. The gasification process at TEC solves this pollution problem by reducing by more than 90% the sulfur, mercury and particulate matter from the fuel prior to combustion. The facility also achieves lower nitrogen oxide emissions than any existing coal boiler.