EmberClear knows what it takes to build a successful power plant.
How the energy market is affecting our world today…
So what exactly is EmberClear… (super short clip)
…and what is one of our biggest strengths?
China has very little access to energy sources outside of coal. Even as the world’s leading installer of alternative energy (wind and solar), the difficulties of supporting the world’s #2 economy has kept the search for energy technologies going for many years.
One of the most promising alternatives to coal is natural gas. Over the last few years, estimates for how much shale gas China may possess has gone from some to maybe as much as the USA to far more than the USA.
China has never had any conventional natural gas to speak of, but over the last several years, it has become apparent that China has a tremendous amount of shale gas (unconventional). The United States is global leader in the technologies and extraction of shale gas in part because of the many decades of experience in geology and operations during the age of conventional gas.
Today, the combination of horizontal/directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing have turned a resource believed to be scarce into an oversupplied market looking for new markets. Happily, EmberClear and others plan to create that new demand in the USA by producing electricity and energy rich liquids like transportation fuels and industrial fluids.
China, on the other hand has too much demand and needs more supply to keep prices affordable and improve their emissions footprint. Beijing’s challenge is to figure out how competitive shale gas is with coal for their own country. With little geology and history, China’s catch-up plans start with gaining fundamental knowledge.
A rush to conduct geological surveys plus hundreds of billions invested into North American companies in the oil and gas food chain is the start. On October 26, 2012, the first auctions for leases will be conducted and the wildcatters from all over the world will want to gain exposure despite very limited scientific and engineering information being available.
A great interview on CNBC (starts about 50 seconds into the clip) in late September 2012 has the very successful billionaire investor Wilbur Ross discuss the upcoming auctions. While the interview hops quickly from one thought to another, I believe it captures some of the great aspects of the global industry for shale gas:
- China and the USA is the best route to bring China’s shale gas potential to market.
- China’s tensions with Japan will play a role in shale gas as Japan represents one of the best long-term customers for Chinese shale gas and its byproducts.
- Limited knowledge of the geology is not stopping progress. Given the potential size and importance to China, everyone is moving ahead assuming similarities in successful shale gas production are greater than any differences. Furthermore, any differences or challenges can be overcome with augmenting of technologies and practices.
Many readers already know about our relationship with the world’s largest power company, Huaneng Power Group. While it’s natural to see the biggest companies take interest, it’s also worth noting smaller companies and even companies outside of China have taken keen interest in the shale gas life cycle.
South Korean and Japanese companies are highly motivated to get involved because both countries use large amounts of energy and both have no reserves of either conventional or shale gas. These two mega-economies import their natural gas requirements at world record setting prices often three times the price of the same commodity here in the USA.
As we near the start of construction of our Good Spring NGCC electricity plant, it’s no wonder interest from around the world is high. Our plant will represent the finest example of an efficient natural gas combined cycle electricity plant.
Using turbines so efficient we obsolete similar plants just built a decade ago. A measurement of how efficient an electricity plant performs often measure how much energy a certain type of technology and fuel is required to produce one kilowatt-hour of electricity. This measurement is called the heat rate and is expressed as how many Btu’s it takes to create that Kwh.
Our plant has a heat rate of 6,500 Btu/Kwh. Good Spring NGCC is over 20% more efficient than the industry average natural gas power plant in the USA during 2010 (latest year of info available). When compared to other major sources of power, our Good Spring NGCC will be over 37% more efficient than the average coal or nuclear plant.
When one considers how inexpensive natural gas has become and how productive the Marcellus Shale region has become, the economic advantage is clear. Like so many times in the past, the rest of the world wants and needs some Yankee ingenuity. Isn’t that what really makes America unique?
Pennsylvania Power Plant Will Create 500 New Jobs and Add $1 Billion to Local Economy
Calgary, AB – September 19, 2012 – EmberClear Corp. (TSXV: EMB) (“EmberClear“) is pleased to announce selection of SK E&C USA for Engineering, Procurement & Construction (“EPC”) for the 300 MW Good Spring Natural Gas Combined Cycle (“Good Spring NGCC”) power plant in Pennsylvania.
During construction, the Good Spring NGCC power project will employ approximately 500 workers for two years culminating in dozens of full time positions for plant operations. The economic impact to the surrounding area is expected to be more than $1 billion over 15 years.
The Natural Gas Combined Cycle power plant will use the latest turbine technology for efficient operations to supply enough electricity for approximately 300,000 households.
Jim Palumbo, President of Future Power Pennsylvania Inc. (“FPPI”), a wholly owned subsidiary of EmberClear, reports the Good Spring NGCC project is on schedule to commission in 2015. The project is expected to break ground in 2013.
“We expect the U.S. natural gas-based power market to rapidly expand over the next decade, especially in the Marcellus Shale geography where Good Spring NGCC is situated. SK E & C has been adding jobs in the U.S. in response and preparation for this opportunity,” said Keith Clauss, Chief Executive Officer, SK E&C USA.
Frank Zukas, President of the Schuylkill Economic Development Corporation (“SEDCO”) in eastern Pennsylvania, believes the Good Spring plant will be a great addition to the region for many reasons.
“This assures affordable power and cleaner air for the future. Also, the new wave of gas power plants supports a healthier and more sustainable job market opportunity for the Commonwealth,” Zukas said.
“Projects of this nature require the scale and experience of an engineering, procurement and construction company such as SK E&C USA in order to bring all the other requisite parties to finance, contract, and perform the construction of this great asset,” explained Albert Lin, CEO of EmberClear. “We look forward to further progress in maximizing this region of the USA’s natural gas abundance, skilled workers, and demand for low-emissions power.”
About SK E&C
Since its founding in 1977, SK E&C has continuously pursued stability and growth based on its top-notch technical expertise and outstanding management capabilities in various areas of construction including national infrastructure, housing, plants, eco-friendly incinerators and nuclear power plants, as well as its U-business that includes wireless mobile communication equipment. Through the years SK E&C has been evolving and developing to create “Build the Great: Great Life, Great World.” For more information please visit www.skec.com
SEDCO is a community-based, private, not-for-profit organization with 60 years of experience in assisting companies to locate or expand their operations here. Schuylkill County offers more than 38 miles of frontage along the Interstate 81 corridor as well as very close proximity to east / west connections via Interstates 80 and 78.
SEDCO presently manages 12 industrial sites representing over $1 billion in capital investment. We have extensive experience with project financing, site search and tour services, and facility / park construction and management. We have developed effective partnerships with industry and state and local government and have close working relationships with education and training service providers to assure qualified employment candidates for your business.
Web site www.sed-co.com
EmberClear is an energy developer focused on low emission commercial scale projects around the world. Developing facilities using coal or natural gas as inputs to create electricity or transportation fuels characterizes our plants. We utilize our proven expertise in permitting, site-control, and engineering feasibility to leverage our other assets including a license on IP, control systems, and equipment procurement from Huaneng Clean Energy Research Institute (HCERI, a subsidiary of the world’s largest power company, Huaneng Power Group of China). EmberClear also holds surface and mineral rights in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. This property lies in the Southern Anthracite coalfield of eastern Pennsylvania, USA. Mineral rights held by the company include Anthracite/PCI coal suitable for the metallurgical industry. EmberClear’s shares are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the trading symbol “EMB”.
For more information please visit www.emberclear.com.
National Geographic has a very good animation about how the new technologies in shale gas work. It’s specific to the Marcellus Shale, but is instructive for other locations as well.
Over 25% of the USA natural gas now comes from an area which wasn’t even producing meaningful quantities 4 years ago. Pennsylvania and West Virginia are currently producing over 7 billion cubic feet per day. One of the most interesting aspects of this phenomenon relates to job and wealth creation from the nat gas. With local prices just under $3 per mmcf and worldwide prices around $12 the incentive to export and leave the area with little economic benefit is high. We believe the technologies used for creating this natural gas supply boom will proliferate worldwide and some markets with very high nat gas prices will find they too have shale gas and the ability to produce their own gas. Instead, we believe a sound long-term plan should involve a high percentage of the local gas being converted into higher-value products like electricity, methanol, fertilizers, and transportation fuels. Building the economy in this fashion would create a far more stable and diverse economy which is less prone to a commodity boom to bust cycle any area only producing a commodity would be exposed to. We have permitted a Natural Gas Electricity power plant in Pennsylvania called Good Spring NGCC and intend to permit more value-added energy projects in the near future. The electricity plant is currently undergoing negotiations for contracts to allow construction to begin in 2013.
A great article summarizing how the Marcellus Shale’s natural gas business could impact jobs in the area quotes Jay Apt from Carnegie Mellon University today.
Although we continue to support coal gasification technology, the immediate availability and decade-low prices of natural gas have presented us with a compelling opportunity for our Good Spring power plant.
If the future regulatory environment and economics were change in favor of coal-based technology, we continue to have the option to use either type of fuel source for future projects.
- EmberClear Corp.
Only two U.S. electric utilities are building expensive coal-gasification power plants, while dozens of similar facilities have been scrapped and some remaining projects may eliminate coal in favor of abundant, cheap natural gas.
Duke Energy’s 618-megawatt Edwardsport coal project in Indiana and Southern Co’s 582-MW Kemper County project in Mississippi are the only “integrated gasification combined cycle”, or IGCC plants, under construction out of more than three dozen proposed in the United States over the last decade.
The power industry cited gasification technology as a way to save coal’s role as the dominant fuel in electric generation as federal limits on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions appeared imminent, but the technology was unable to gain traction in the face of high capital costs, carbon legislation delay and rising supplies of natural gas.
The Environmental Protection Agency in March proposed its first rules to reduce CO2 from future coal-fired plants by requiring them to capture and store emissions. “That will add additional expense to these projects,” Stiegel said.
High construction costs and technical glitches dogged the nation’s first three IGCC projects in the 1990s. Only two still run: TECO Energy’s 250-megawatt Polk County IGCC in Florida and the 260-MW Wabash River Power Station in Indiana, operated by Duke.
Now, the lowest gas prices in a decade make it even harder for companies to justify IGCC’s costs for the ratepayers that must pay the tab.
Construction at the IGCC project run by Southern’s Mississippi Power Co continues despite an ongoing legal challenge by the Sierra Club.
In the most recent monthly update, Mississippi Power said it had spent or committed $1.5 billion to the Kemper project, which was running $366 million over the initial budget.
Meanwhile, a handful of IGCC projects remain active, but some have decided to join the natural gas trend, rather than buck it.
Calgary-based EmberClear will use gas, rather than coal, to fuel its 300-MW Good Spring plant in northeastern Pennsylvania, dropping the IGCC component for now.
“Lack of regulatory clarity on emissions for coal-based electricity plants plus the immediate availability of natural gas provides a strong incentive to use natural gas as the primary fuel source,” EmberClear said in a release.
“This modification lowers the project complexity, reduces the capital cost by at least 60 percent and accelerates the construction schedule.”
Read the full article on Reuters.
Melissa Francis, Anchor on Fox Business Network’s “Markets Now”, interviews Albert Lin, CEO of EmberClear, on choosing to use natural gas instead of coal for its Good Spring NGCC Power Plant in Pennsylvania.