Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why Would Nucor Build a Coal-Fired Power Plant in Louisiana???

Nucor Steel, which is considering building a pig iron plant in St. James Parish, LA, wants to power the plant with coal. 

Uhhh, what? 

Nucor is applying to build a 500 MW coal-fired plant to fuel its proposed St. James Parish site, which is located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.  The company is deciding between the Louisiana site and another in Brazil.  The Sierra Club is leading the charge against the plant, urging Nucor to choose a more environmentally friendly fuel source.  There is a LA DEQ public hearing tomorrow (April 15) at the St. James Parish Courthouse to discuss the issue.

I find this baffling.  For years now I've read Nucor's glossy magazine ads touting the company's environmental credibility.  Here's the company's web page as it appeared today:

This is the company that would install a coal generating plant in the state that has some of the largest natural gas reserves in the country?  I realize that coal and steel go way back, but for a company that openly talks about beating deadlines for the Kyoto Protocol on its web site to be building a coal-fired power plant just doesn't compute. 

This is forward thinking?  When your motto is "It's Our Nature," you have to do better than coal.  All of this just makes me think that Nucor's advertising campaigns are nothing more that feel-good fluff with no substance behind them.  I hope Nucor goes forward with its plans for a pig iron plant in Louisiana, but I hope the company can do it using natural gas as its power source.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The plant will most likely utilize heat from heat recovery coke batterys via HRSG(S) and a boiler that fires blast furnace gas. I doubt they are going to build a standard coal fired power plant.