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Is Hovensa Power Plant More Efficient Than WAPAs?  

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InnAtPelicanHeights
(@InnAtPelicanHeights)
Advanced Member

Just some thoughts on all the power HOVENSA is no longer going to require------------------enough to supply the entire US Virgin Islands and more.

Any private investors looking to buy a power plant capable of supplying power to the entire US Virgin Islands?

Would we be better off?

How much would it cost to convert to burning natural gas-----my guess HOVENSA already has the numbers and according to the article is one fifth the cost of oil, and probably would come from the United States.

Parts of an article Nov 2011, Daily news:

.........................HOVENSA consumes about 160 megawatts of power when running at normal operations - also maintaining about 25 megawatts or so in excess power just in case a turbine trips, Lever said. It is far more than the entire territory uses, meaning that to generate its power HOVENSA is burning hundreds of millions of dollars of product it otherwise would be able to sell.

"The current situation is not sustainable," Lever said. "And so we are talking with owners about what those solutions might be."

Lever's former refinery ran using power generated by a coal-fired power plant in Texas, he said. One option for HOVENSA may be importing natural gas, which is about one-fifth the cost of the oil being burned.

"Importing liquified natural gas is certainly one of those options," Lever said. "But with anything you do in our business, economy of scale comes into play. And so, if we could put in a facility that not only served the refinery, but the islands, then there might be some appeal in that."

WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. has said the authority is considering using natural gas.

"But again, HOVENSA would need assurances that we were going to get paid for whatever we supplied and that there would be assurances around our, basically, our permit to operate in the Virgin Islands," Lever said.

HOVENSA has not met with WAPA or the V.I. government to discuss the matter, he said.

While HOVENSA may face many challenges, it was those challenges that brought Lever down to St. Croix, he said.

Moving forward

"Yes, it is a challenge," he said. "But that's what drives me. I've always enjoyed the challenge of our industry. But also the opportunity to work in an asset like this was also compelling. This was a very, very well-designed and well-built asset and, overall, I think it's been pretty well-maintained.

"But I think there are some changes that need to be made here in line with the current environment in which we are operating - both financially and from an emissions and compliance perspective."

-

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Posted : January 18, 2012 8:00 pm
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

Considering everything. LNG is the right way to go. Converting the STG boilers (or combustion turbines) from Fuel Oil to NG (or duel fuel) should not be all that costly. And the emissions would be lower. However, the cost would be in the LNG unloading terminal and the on-island storage facility. LNG needs to be refrigerated including the storage. We need a developer or utility with some borrowing power.

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Posted : January 18, 2012 8:21 pm
DaChief
(@DaChief)
Advanced Member

WAPA has about a 60%- 40% Split between Gas Turbine (Frame 5 GT) and Steam Turbine Units. Hovensa has the latest and greatest version of the Frame 5 and about 35% Steam. Both the WAPA STX Plant and Hovensa have WHB's. The stated GE Thermal Efficiency for the GT's are 37% @ 18MW on distillate fuel. The actual thermal efficiency of WAPA on a total fuel basis is stated (By DOI, EIA) at roughly 24%. Then there's the line loss, theft, systemic excursions as part of a lack of maintenance and repair. I figure that's another 8% loss of
efficiency.

Then we have WAPA's poor operating practices in Boiler Water Management in the Steam Plants, Bad Fuel Rotation Practices and just a generally lethargic maintenance and repair regimen....

The equipment is basically the same, though older in WAPA and poorly maintained. Last month STT suffered a major loss of the #11 Boiler because of the scale and blistering ocurred because of salt water contamination in the boiler feed water- it only takes 100 ppm at 600 psig to do widespread damage. This is one of the reasons that water storage ocurred....

Hovensa is fueled by a mix of distillate and resid fuels and is VERY expensive to "fuel" the refinery. The GT sets can run on LPG- but that commodity is used elsewhere for better financial result. The ONLY way the refinery will reopen I think will be by retooling the plant LNG.

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Posted : January 19, 2012 1:48 pm
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

Chief,

If the GTs have WHBs are they using the steam for process or combined-cycle arrangement to drive an STG? In CC arrangement, the combined efficiency should be over 50%.

In any case if the refinery does close, some one should make use of the power equipment to benefit the VI. Otherwise, if goes on the open market, who knows where it will end up. The VI Gov.t should be getting lined up to facilitate this now. WAPA has no money for that type of investment, so it will take an IPP to come in. But then the issues will arise as to what rate will the IPP get paid by WAPA ... and is it enough to justify the costs of an LNG terminal and storage. There would have to be some "deal" up front (...say for Gov.t stability reasons) to avoid the normal WAPA process of RFP for a PPA, since it would drag out for years like what happened on the Alpine project or even the the Solar PV project.

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Posted : January 19, 2012 2:34 pm
DaChief
(@DaChief)
Advanced Member

I fgured about 47% on combined, with a lot of the recoop steam going to the disatilling plants. We're still not getting the proper amount of energy out of the energy we're putting in. Something very wrong...

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Posted : January 19, 2012 2:50 pm
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

Are you talking net or gross at the generator terminals. A CC plant that gets a +50% efficiency is the gross electric production at the generator terminals. Note, the parisitic load on the steam portion may be as high as 25% of the STG gross output.

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Posted : January 19, 2012 2:55 pm
STXMike
(@STXMike)
Active Member

Avis newspaper editorial on Thursday has great article on the topic of using power plants for energy on St Croix.

Recommends a private/government psrtnership. Editorial also believes HOVENSA plants use less expensive fuel and are more efficient. Could be part of the solution for energy on St Croix.

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Posted : January 19, 2012 3:28 pm
IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
Trusted Member

All this proves is that Lucy and DaChief are both true 'energy geeks'. 😎
Indulging us commoners a little by elaborating on the process and explaining some acronyms would be very helpful.
I for one don't know WTF a WHB is?

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Posted : January 19, 2012 3:53 pm
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

All this proves is that Lucy and DaChief are both true 'energy geeks'. 😎
Indulging us commoners a little by elaborating on the process and explaining some acronyms would be very helpful.
I for one don't know WTF a WHB is?

OK. The WHB = Waste Heat Boiler. That is the Chief's terminology. I would normally use HRSG ... Heat Recovery Steam Generator. HRSG is used on CC plants. Combined-Cycle plants; meaning you have a gas (or in this case a fuel oil) fueled combustion turbine-generator where the exhaust gases go into the HRSG to make steam; that then drives a STG... Steam Turbine-Generator.

I think I know what a WTF is ? Ha ! 😮

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Posted : January 19, 2012 4:52 pm
InnAtPelicanHeights
(@InnAtPelicanHeights)
Advanced Member

I read the AVIS, its definately something the USVI should be inquiring on---and according to the article, WAPA's power plant uses less expensive fuel and has to be more efficient. HOVENSA must know how much its costing per KW?

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Posted : January 19, 2012 5:06 pm
IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
Trusted Member

All this proves is that Lucy and DaChief are both true 'energy geeks'. 😎
Indulging us commoners a little by elaborating on the process and explaining some acronyms would be very helpful.
I for one don't know WTF a WHB is?

OK. The WHB = Waste Heat Boiler. That is the Chief's terminology. I would normally use HRSG ... Heat Recovery Steam Generator. HRSG is used on CC plants. Combined-Cycle plants; meaning you have a gas (or in this case a fuel oil) fueled combustion turbine-generator where the exhaust gases go into the HRSG to make steam; that then drives a STG... Steam Turbine-Generator.

I think I know what a WTF is ? Ha ! 😮

Thanks Lucy - that makes it much clearer. Well about as clear as WAPA water anyway. 😎

(and a good WTF usually needs hand/arm gestures - difficult to do on a forum).

ReplyQuote
Posted : January 19, 2012 6:07 pm
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

This is based on spot prices listed on Bloomberg today. NG = $3 per MMBTU and Fuel Oil = $3 per gallon.

Assume that buying in bulk lowers the price of NG, but that is cancelled by the liquification and transport of LNG. Also boiler combustion efficiencies are the same.

A gallon of fuel oil has an energy content = 150,000 BTUs.

So it takes 1,000,000 / 150,000 = 6.7 gallons of Fuel Oil or $20 for the same energy content as $3.00 of NG.

Even if the cost of LNG doubles to account for the infrastructure additions, it is a much better deal. The Vi should be finding a way to convert now before the other islands do. Use this plant closure and the VI fiscal crisis to our advantage.

Some on once said, "you should never let a crisis go to waste".

But it might take the Gov., assuming he has some "balls", to proclaim a change by executive order to by-pass the normal slow-mo Gov.t / WAPA process of studies and RFPs and endless evaluations.

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Posted : January 19, 2012 6:15 pm
DaChief
(@DaChief)
Advanced Member

Well Lucy- It seems as though you use some standard terms. Are you a Power Engineer? I am. Currently I base all my calcs and figures as follows: (Remember that fuel rates are expressed by pounds because of the gross/net conversion to API 60)

2 Oil= 17000 btu/lb
6 Oil= 19500 btu/lb

WAPA currently burns about 24000 bbls per week at STX- mostly #2 Oil to the GT Sets. I would rate the overall thermal to end user efficiency (thats btu/t to btu/e converted to kwh (@3412 btu/kwh before efficiency). The overall thermal efficiency from "cradle to grave" for STX has averaged about 24% overall (DOI DOE sources) plus I backed this up from the fuel consumed to the actual MWh output.

Now, a Steam Generator of the third generation 20th Century- Non Reheating, Express Type, Modified D, Intergal Superheater, Front Fired, Forced Draft, Accelerated Natural Circulation, 600,000 #/hr, 1200 psig @ 935 F., usually weighs in with an overall plant efficiency of about 33% Thermal.

The stated and public GT Frame 5's, with upgrades to the fuel/governing system usually weighs in at 37% Thermal. Add the WHB or HRSG (forgive me- my background is marine- we still call them waste heat boilers) and I would estimate 42-50% thermal depending on what type of secondary system (no it does not have to be steam/water- I've seen something called thermal oil- no boiling and therefore no 970 btu per pound at saturation)

This STILL does not change the fact that WAPA is probably one of the most inefficient operations ever know in the history of the power plant.

LNG- I see all kinds of comment relative to the fact about infrastructure, ports, terminals, storage and other "salient" points- all bunk!

The refinery has the space, draft, infrastructure and NEED to develop an LNG Hub- NOT facility, a Hub- which will not only solve the insolvency problem in refining by going to a cheaper, cleaner and more attainable fuel- but I will bet within one year will be pipelined direct to WAPA. It's obvious that the current refinery ownership doesn't wish to sink more money into the sink hole- a new owner will be here by October the latest to start retooling. Then WAPA will convert their GT's to NG and life will go on. The reorganization by a "related company" to the current owner stinks to high heaven- but what choice do we have.

Now for the Political end. In July/August- when the kwh cost is approaching .62-.65 per kwh, and gas on STX is 6 bucks a gallon- the Pols and other assorted elected welfare recipients will SCREAM YES for the "new deal". Hopefully we'll all be just onbe wiser and DEMAND a better deal at the bargaining table. It's not personal, it's business- this will also knock the crap out of the consent decree with the emissions reduction.

I believ that this is all part of a well orchestrated plan, one which may be painful at first, but will level out in the end- it will be better for all PROVIDED that kwh cost is around .28 and gas under $3 when it's all said and done.

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Posted : January 20, 2012 1:30 am
STXMike
(@STXMike)
Active Member

Listening to 93.5 radio about an hour ago, power line runs from HOVENSA to hospital already. And according to the guest, not a major capital project to feed from this line into the WAPA line. Senators meeting and will be discussing options next week.

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Posted : January 20, 2012 2:01 pm
Lucy
 Lucy
(@Lucy)
Advanced Member

Well Lucy- It seems as though you use some standard terms. Are you a Power Engineer? I am. Currently I base all my calcs and figures as follows: (Remember that fuel rates are expressed by pounds because of the gross/net conversion to API 60)

2 Oil= 17000 btu/lb
6 Oil= 19500 btu/lb

WAPA currently burns about 24000 bbls per week at STX- mostly #2 Oil to the GT Sets. I would rate the overall thermal to end user efficiency (thats btu/t to btu/e converted to kwh (@3412 btu/kwh before efficiency). The overall thermal efficiency from "cradle to grave" for STX has averaged about 24% overall (DOI DOE sources) plus I backed this up from the fuel consumed to the actual MWh output.

Now, a Steam Generator of the third generation 20th Century- Non Reheating, Express Type, Modified D, Intergal Superheater, Front Fired, Forced Draft, Accelerated Natural Circulation, 600,000 #/hr, 1200 psig @ 935 F., usually weighs in with an overall plant efficiency of about 33% Thermal.

The stated and public GT Frame 5's, with upgrades to the fuel/governing system usually weighs in at 37% Thermal. Add the WHB or HRSG (forgive me- my background is marine- we still call them waste heat boilers) and I would estimate 42-50% thermal depending on what type of secondary system (no it does not have to be steam/water- I've seen something called thermal oil- no boiling and therefore no 970 btu per pound at saturation)

This STILL does not change the fact that WAPA is probably one of the most inefficient operations ever know in the history of the power plant.

LNG- I see all kinds of comment relative to the fact about infrastructure, ports, terminals, storage and other "salient" points- all bunk!

The refinery has the space, draft, infrastructure and NEED to develop an LNG Hub- NOT facility, a Hub- which will not only solve the insolvency problem in refining by going to a cheaper, cleaner and more attainable fuel- but I will bet within one year will be pipelined direct to WAPA. It's obvious that the current refinery ownership doesn't wish to sink more money into the sink hole- a new owner will be here by October the latest to start retooling. Then WAPA will convert their GT's to NG and life will go on. The reorganization by a "related company" to the current owner stinks to high heaven- but what choice do we have.

Now for the Political end. In July/August- when the kwh cost is approaching .62-.65 per kwh, and gas on STX is 6 bucks a gallon- the Pols and other assorted elected welfare recipients will SCREAM YES for the "new deal". Hopefully we'll all be just onbe wiser and DEMAND a better deal at the bargaining table. It's not personal, it's business- this will also knock the crap out of the consent decree with the emissions reduction.

I believ that this is all part of a well orchestrated plan, one which may be painful at first, but will level out in the end- it will be better for all PROVIDED that kwh cost is around .28 and gas under $3 when it's all said and done.

Chief. I think you may have mis-interpreted me. I was not questioning your assessment on the lower efficiency, but just pointing out what it should be. Yes, the WAPA plants and WAPA have an issue.

I am an engineer (not power process) but have been in the power business (Nuclear, Coal Steam Plants, GTs, Biomass, Solar Thermal, WHB) for over 35 years. I just try to keep it on a high level in order to compare things quickly.

As for the WHB using thermal oil, if they are not using it for power production, then they are using it for process heating. If the need for process heating goes away, then the TO can be used for power production. See this web site.

http://www.adoratec.com/

If you have further interest in ORC, PM me and we can talk.

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Posted : January 20, 2012 2:02 pm
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