US chemical companies produce own electricity

The Dow Chemical Company, BP and Occidental Chemical Company all have something new in common. These companies, along with a growing list of their peers, are increasingly turning to combined heat and power (CHP) generation, more commonly known as co-generation, as a solution for their electricity and process steam needs. The co-production of electricity and steam are not new ideas, but their popularity in the US is growing. Recent estimates have chemical companies responsible for nearly one-third of all electricity generated through co-generation in the US. Projects of all sizes are being planned and built across the country. Dow Chemical and American Electric Power have teamed up to build a USD 325 million 900mw co-generation at Dow’s site in Plaquemine, Louisiana, scheduled to start construction in the fourth quarter of 2001 and be completed in 2003. BP and Cinergy Solutions broke ground late last month on a 570mw plant for BP’s Texas City, Texas refinery and chemical complex. The USD 275 million plant is expected to come online in 2004. Occidental Chemical Corporation is reviewing plans for an 80mw plant for one of its Gulf Coast sites with approval of for the USD 40 million project expected in June of 2002.

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