13 October 1999
Texaco Energy Systems Inc. announced it had been selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to lead a team that will design an Early Entrance Co-Production Plant (EECP) for the production of electricity and high-quality diesel fuel using a combination of Texaco's proprietary gasification and Rentech's Fisher-Tropsch technologies.
The team will carry out a four-year, $14.6 million research, development and testing program, which will culminate with the creation of the preliminary engineering design for commercial implementation of a multi-product plant. The DOE is providing $9 million in funds, or 62% of the total, under its Vision 21 initiative. The Texaco-led team consists of Brown & Root Services, a division of Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., General Electric (GE) Power Systems, Praxair, Inc. and Rentech.
The DOE's Vision 21 initiative is primarily executed by the Federal Energy Technology Center (FETC). FETC is one of DOE's field offices for fossil energy research with sites in Morgantown, W. Va. and Pittsburgh, Pa. Texaco's initial focus will be to commercialize the EECP concept using low-value hydrocarbons, such as refinery by-products, as the fuel source. As the technology matures, other feedstocks will be used to produce electric power, diesel fuel and other products.
The Texaco gasification technology, a process that converts solid, liquid or gaseous hydrocarbon feedstocks into synthesis gas, will be used to generate the fuel source for the Rentech Fischer-Tropsch technology. The integration of these technologies with Praxair's air separation process and GE's combined cycle technology will facilitate the use of a broad range of original feedstocks, such as petroleum coke, heavy oils and other by-products generated in refineries and heavy oil production upgrading facilities, as well as coal.
Texaco Energy Systems Inc. (TESI), formed in April 1999, was created to explore opportunities to broaden Texaco's energy portfolio. Leveraging the strength of a global corporation, TESI will explore business opportunities in fuel cells, hydrocarbons-to-liquids and alternative fuels. As a technology-based company, Texaco plans to apply energy expertise and proprietary technologies to make these emerging energy opportunities a reality.