Refurbishment of the Port Arthur Steam Energy facility began in early 2005 after key commercial agreements were concluded. The plant, which had been idle since October 2000, was originally constructed in 1983 and 1984 to recover energy from three petroleum coke calcining kilns at the Great Lakes Carbon LLC facility. Major repairs were needed because of extensive damage from sulfuric acid corrosion of the HRSG system and deterioration of water treatment facilities. In addition, major improvements were made including an acoustic cleaning system, multiclones for particulate emission reduction, magnesium oxide injection for corrosion control, a complete new control system with all new field instrumentation, stack improvements to increase dispersion, and improvements to the HRSG system and water treatment system to improve reliability and reduce maintenance. Rising energy prices dictated a fast-paced schedule. Following a major reconstruction effort with a peak force of 435 people, the facility was in full operation by August 2005, less than nine months from commencement. The facility is producing approximately 450,000 lb/hr of high pressure steam, the majority of which is sold to the neighboring Valero Port Arthur refinery, and producing 4 to 5 MW of power. By capturing 1800–2000°F heat that would other wise be wasted, the project recovers nearly 5 trillion Bru/year, off setting over 200 tons/yr of NOx and over 280,000 tons/yr of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be emitted by natural gas combustion. The success of the project can be attributed to management of the project which included innovative inspection techniques, development of the scope of work, design of improvements, and extensive construction and repairs.

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