2010 Annual Report
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The host steel mills and the Projects enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship. The Projects provide their industrial customers with a combination of thermal and electric energy, environmental services, and in the case of the Harbor Coal Project, coal pulverization services, all on competitive terms. Primary Energy enables its customers to focus their capital investment on their core operations.
Primary Energy has minimal exposure to fluctuations in fuel prices. Three of the Projects obtain their primary fuel from their hosts’ waste energy streams; accordingly, there is no fuel price risk associated with this fuel source. The Portside Project converts natural gas purchased by its host into electricity and thermal energy.
The Mittal and U.S. Steel mills, the site hosts of the projects, are important components of their respective parent companies, produce low cost, high quality steel and have close relationships with major steel customers.
The recycled energy projects are critical to the operation of their hosts and provide significant benefits including supplying cost efficient, reliable energy streams required for their operations. Since the recycled energy projects primarily utilize waste energy from their hosts, they produce energy at a cost well below the marginal price of energy from other sources and generate significant cost savings for their hosts and help protect their hosts from volatile energy prices.
The services provided by the recycled energy projects also result in environmental benefits, for which the hosts enjoy significant recognition. Three of the recycled energy projects capture waste energy from industrial processes and convert it into useable forms of electricity and thermal energy, resulting in a more efficient use of the original fuel inputs. The Portside Project uses natural gas as fuel and captures its own waste energy and converts it into additional electricity and thermal energy, resulting in additional fuel efficiency. The Cokenergy Project provides additional environmental benefits through the removal of sulfur dioxide and particulate matter from the exhaust gas of an adjacent coke production facility and is the first non-recovery coke making process with integrated electric, steam and flue gas cleanup.
The added efficiency and environmental benefits of the recycled energy projects have been recognized in the form of awards from a variety of sources. Specifically, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the Portside Project its ENERGY STAR(R) Combined Heat and Power award. The Portside and Northlake Projects have both received the Governor of Indiana’s award for Excellence in Pollution Prevention.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the four Primary Energy Recycling projects for high environmental efficiency by reducing carbon emissions.
During 2008, the Primary Energy Recycling plants used Recycled Energy and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.2 million tons compared to conventional plants using separate heat and power sources. The EPA said that is equivalent to taking 196,000 cars off the road or planting 294,000 acres of forest.
The Projects utilize reliable and proven technology from recognized equipment providers to deliver energy services to their hosts. The Ironside, North Lake and Cokenergy Projects use steam driven turbine technology that has been in use in the electricity generation industry for over 100 years. Given the durability of steam turbine technology and the free waste fuel sources, Management believes these Projects have the ability to operate effectively beyond the term of their existing contracts. The Portside Project’s natural gas turbine is a conventional GE 6B that is in wide use throughout North America. To produce pulverized coal, the Harbor Coal Project utilizes two coal pulverizers that are common in the steel and coal power industries and have historically operated without significant issues. As a result of their straightforward technology and management’s operating experience, the recycled energy projects have demonstrated a strong track record.
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