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Caterpillar Puts Weight Behind $1.5B FutureGen CCS Project

FuturegentechCaterpillar plans (PDF) to join the FutureGen Alliance to build a $1.5 billion near-zero emissions coal-fired power plant that will produce hydrogen and electricity while capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide underground in Mattoon, Illinois, reports Reuters.

The FutureGen project is expected to prove the technical and economic feasibility of producing low-cost power and hydrogen from coal while nearly eliminating emissions, reports Reuters. However, the project will cost about three times as much as a traditional coal-fired power plant, according to the article.

The U.S. Department of Energy will provide more than $1 billion to help fund the 275-megawatt project as part of federal efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while the alliance’s contribution will be about $400 million to $600 million, reports Reuters.

FutureGen will use integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology, which turns coal into gas before removing impurities such as sulfur dioxide, particulates and mercury before burning the coal gas to generate power, according to the article.

Other FutureGen members include subsidiaries of Alpha Natural Resources, Anglo American, BHP Billiton, China Huaneng Group, Consol Energy, E.ON AG Peabody Energy, Rio Tinto, Xstrata, and most recently Exelon, reports Reuters.

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