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California Energy Commission Power Plant Licensing Case

Valero Cogeneration Project

Sponsor: Valero Refining Company (VRC)
Location: The proposed project will be located at the Valero Refining Company in Benicia, California. The site is located in Block 25, Township 3 North, Range 3 West of the Benicia Quadrangle, Solano County. The Assessor’s Lot Number for the site is 90-110-03.
Cost: The project is estimated to have construction expenditures totaling approximately $100,000,000.
Licensing: Application for Certification (AFC) was filed May 7, 2001. The Energy Commission AFC review process is a 12 month expedited review, Executive order D-28-01.

Construction: The applicant plans to complete construction within a ten month schedule after issuance of the notice to construct by the air district. During construction the number of workers will peak at approximately 150.
Commercial Operation: The applicant plans to start operation of the Valero Cogeneration power plant by the Summer of 2002.
Electrical energy produced from the proposed merchant power plant will be used by the refinery and any excess will be sold in California’s newly created electricity market and the California Power Exchange. Cogenerated steam from the plant will be used in the Valero refinery for it’s own use.
Technology: Gas-fired combined cycle cogeneration power plant, the GE Gas Turbine (LM6000) was selected because one unit was the size that produced the amount of electrical power that closely matched average refinery consumption and also could efficiently produce the proper amount of 600 psi steam to match the refinery's demand after the shut down of two old package boilers.
Components: The proposed facility consists of a two GE gas turbines (LM6000 - PC Sprint) with chillers, fuel gas compression facilities, power generators, heat recovery steam generators (HRSG), SCRs for emission control, simple cycle combustion turbine generator (CTG), air evaporative cooler, exhaust stack, heat recovery steam generator (HRSG).
The electrical power transmission from VCP will be transmitted through an underground 12 kv electrical feeder will be installed from the new generation equipment to a new 12 kv switch house at the northeast corner of the refinery processing block. From this switch house the power will preferentially feed the refinery's demand with the surplus power being routed to the grid through Valero's existing 230 kv substation.
Fuel: The equipment is designed to operate by combusting refinery fuel gas with alternate operation on natural gas. The refinery fuel gas is produced by the refining process and varies considerably in composition and includes hydrogen, methane, ethanes, propanes, butanes, and smaller amounts of other organic and inert materials. Refinery fuel gas is amine treated to minimize sulfur compounds. The refinery fuel gas will be compressed from about 70 psi to the required level of about 675 psi for use in the gas turbine. The compressors are electrically driven and will have facilities to remove any condensed material in the fuel. Natural gas is the backup alternative fuel.
The minor amount of required cooling water will be supplied by a small packaged cooling water system. Makeup cooling water, estimated at about 70 gpm, (raw, untreated) will be obtained from the City of Benicia via existing facilities. Water for each GT injection is expected to total about 60 gpm and will also be obtained from the City of Benicia via existing facilities, but it will undergo treatment by the refinery's existing water treatment facilities. The small increase in treatment will not impact the treating operation, though a small RO (reverse osmosis) module may be installed as a polisher to ensure adequate quality. The additional water supply need is covered by Valero’s contract with the City and the City's agreement for North Bay Aquaduct water from the State Water Project.
Air Quality
Emission Controls:
The primary method for air pollution control will be based on use of a selective catalytic reactor (SCR) to reduce emissions of NOx, CO, and POC. It's design will be specified to reduce emissions and comply with BACT requirements as set by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). A detailed discussion of emission quantities, offsets, and BACT requirements is included in the Application submitted to the BAAQMD and the AFC.
Wastewater: Wastewater handling procedures for the new facilities will be integrated into the refinery's existing waste handling programs. Specifically, the SCR catalyst will require replacement on a 2 to 5 year cycle, just as is the case on three other SCR installations within the refinery. When the catalyst requires replacement the spent catalyst will be evaluated for regeneration by the supplier or else disposed of in accordance with regulatory requirements.


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