Insight Terminal Solutions OBOT: Oakland Bulk Terminal vs. Coal Terminal
(Last Updated On: January 15, 2020)

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(from a distance) – The Richmond coal ban ordinance vote tonight does not impact the planned Bulk And Oversized Terminal. Here’s why.

The Richmond City Council voted to impose a ban on the shipment of coal from within its city limits and to export ports of call. The ordinance gives the Levin-Richmond Terminal Corporation, which runs the only true coal terminal active in the San Francisco Bay Area, three years to stop its activities.

By contrast, the Bulk And Oversized Terminal is a bulk terminal that can handle any kind of commodity, including iron ore, gravel, and sulphur. Here’s the ITS video with of California Capital Investment Group as its narrator:

Media insisting on bending all discussions into one of “left versus right” call the Bulk And Oversized Terminal a “coal terminal” when nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s the real story: Insight Terminal Solutions Bombshell: TIOGA Report Shows City Of Oakland Planned OBOT For Coal

As explained here at Oakland News Now, The City of produced The Tioga Group market study that found coal as the commodity with the best chance of making the Bulk And Oversized Terminal’s balance sheet pencil out. But there have always been plans to handle a mix of commodities, and the ITS “ Protocol” is a nod to that fact. As stated in News Now:

According to CEO John Siegel, the “ Protocol” is called “5-3-0”, where ITS will agree to limit the transportation of coal through OBOT to 5 million tons a year for the first 10 years of OBOT’s operation, and 3 million tons per year for the next 10 years. After the initial 20 years of OBOT shipping, agrees not to ship any coal through the Bulk and Oversized Terminal for the remainder of its 66-year lease.

Mr. Siegel said “The phase out represents a 92 percent reduction in the amount of coal that could be shipped and eliminates coal by 2040, thereby beating the timetable in California Senate Bill 100 which would not make the state’s energy supply 100 percent carbon free until 2045.” The phase out gives ITS time to supplement and then replace coal with a variety of bulk commodities from grain, to soda ash, to wood chips, and in accordance with the original commodity hauling plan for OBOT, as explained in the video featuring .

Again, the OBOT is a bulk terminal and not a coal terminal. A bulk terminal carries bulk cargo, and that is…

Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported unpackaged in large quantities. It refers to material in either liquid or granular, particulate form, as a mass of relatively small solids, such as petroleum/crude oil, grain, coal, or gravel.

Truth: Coal Still Powers The World

While its true that the Bulk and Oversized Terminal (and where ITS is a Zennie62Media content client led by its CEO John Siegel) can handle any bulk cargo, the fact remains that coal still does power the world. The focus in America should be on creating technologies that can allow the safe transport and handling of coal, and without throwing people out of work. The San Francisco Bay Area, in becoming an activist-led society, is just saying no to anything, and not trying to figure out how to say yes to some things. But the fact remains, coal is in demand, especially in Asia – the other side of the Pacific Rim from California. Forecasts report that demand for coal will grow by one per cent over the next five years, fueled by growth in Asia.

The International Energy Agency reports that:

With almost a tenth of the world’s population living in SE Asia, a rapidly developing industrial base and growing consumer class, it is unsurprising that there has been an increase in demand for energy.

This demand is currently increasing at twice the global average and the report summarises that over the next 20 years SE Asia is on track to become a major influencer on global energy trends.

Global production of coal, of which China accounts for more than 40 per cent, is expected to increase. Data from the IEA noted that in 2018, coal was the largest single source of electricity, contributing over 38 per cent to the world’s electricity needs. Coal use in the power sector grew by 1.9 per cent and was responsible for 40 per cent of the additional power generation worldwide.

Firing this demand is India, Korea and South-East Asia, while China’s coal consumption increased in 2017, using 2743 million tonnes (more than a third of the world’s total consumption).

However, it is India that is the primary driver of this increase, as it looks to deliver power to its 1-billion-strong population. The country became the world’s second largest consumer of coal in 2015 – overtaking the United States – and has continued to grow. India has seen a 4.4 per cent rise in usage and by 2023, it is predicted that its demand will see an increase of another 150 million tons of coal.

With all of this, the World Coal Association, among others, asserts that new technologies can cause low-emission coal production, and with the use of High-Efficiency, Low-Emissions Coal Plants, and other approaches. The website for General Electric shows that the idea of low-emissions coal is more than that, it’s a reality:

With low carbon a priority in energy generation, it is imperative to develop a more efficient, lower-emissions technology for coal. Notwithstanding rapid advances in renewables and energy storage, fossil fuels will continue to be essential in the global power mix. The International Energy Agency predicts that coal will generate more electricity in 2040 than all new renewable technologies (excluding hydro) combined. The IEA World Energy Outlook published in late 2016 forecasts that 730 gigawatts (GW) of new, higher-efficiency, lower-emissions (HELE) coal plants will be built by 2040, much of this in developing countries.
HELE

Figures from the World Coal Association, a keen advocate of HELE, show that the average efficiency of coal-fired power plants around the world today is 33 percent. Modern state-of-the-art plants can achieve rates of 45 percent, while “off-the-shelf” rates are around 40 percent. Increasing the efficiency of coal-fired power plants by just 1 percent reduces CO2 emissions by between 2–3 percent.

These technologies make up a diverse group that is improving combustion rates and reducing emissions. Techniques include supercritical and ultracritical technology, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), and fluidized bed combustion. By reducing the volume of CO2 produced, HELE technologies are an important step on the road toward carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), which will be a key technology if global climate change objectives are to be achieved.

New pulverized coal combustion systems—utilizing supercritical and ultra-supercritical technology—operate at increasingly higher temperatures and pressures, achieve higher efficiencies than conventional units and offer significant CO2 reductions. Supercritical steam cycle technology has been in use for a while. Germany and Japan are driving development of the next generation of ultra-supercritical units, capable of potentially operating at up to 50 percent efficiency.

IGCC

Integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) is a technology that uses a high-pressure gasifier to convert coal or other carbon-based fuels into pressurized gas. The synthesis gas (syngas), a mixture of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen, can be used to drive a combined cycle turbine, a cleaner way of burning coal. The technology is attracting interest in a number of countries including the US, China, and Germany. In the US, Mississippi Power’s IGCC plant in Kemper County can operate using either syngas (produced from locally mined lignite) or natural gas. The 582-MW plant is designed to capture 65 percent of its carbon emissions and transport it via pipeline for use in enhanced oil recovery. One of the biggest IGCC plants planned is China’s 800-MW Dongguan Taiyangzhou IGCC.

FBC

Another more efficient, lower-emissions technique is fluidized bed combustion (FBC). FBC evolved from efforts to find a combustion process able to control pollutant emissions without external emissions controls. It is a flexible method of electricity production using combustible material including coal, biomass, and general waste. FBC systems improve the environmental impact of coal-based electricity, reducing SOx and NOx emissions by 90 percent.

Fluidized beds suspend solid fuels on upward-blowing jets of air during the combustion process. This leads to more effective chemical reactions and heat transfer. Combustion takes place at temperatures of 1,400 to 1,700 degrees F—below the threshold at which NOx gases form. Sulfur-absorbing chemicals, such as limestone or dolomite, are used to capture pollutants inside the boiler.

There are two main FBC systems: atmospheric systems (FBC) and pressurized systems (PFBC). FBC in boilers can be particularly useful for high-ash coals. In PFBC systems, steam generated from the heat in the fluidized bed is sent to a steam turbine, while the flue gasses are used in a gas turbine. Second-generation FBCs can include an integrated coal gasifier to produce syngas, which, when added to the energy entering the gas turbine, increases efficiency.

Looking Forward

State-of-the-art ultra-supercritical (USC) coal plants are achieving efficiencies of 45 percent. Ongoing research into high-temperature materials suggests that advanced USC plants with 50 percent efficiency could be realized by the end of the decade. Development of alternative power cycles such as IGCC or fuel cells may make further impacts on this efficiency barrier possible.

HELE plants are in a minority in the global coal fleet. Less than half of the new coal plants commissioned last year employed supercritical steam cycles. Strategies for optimizing the efficiency of existing plants include improving heat integration, upgrading steam turbines and boilers, and installing advanced control and monitoring systems.

Looking forward, coal is set to remain a major player in the global power market, and increasing the deployment of higher-efficiency, lower-emissions technologies and CCS will be essential to achieving global carbon emissions targets.

So, in closing, the Richmond Coal Ban doesn’t impact the Bulk and Oversized Terminal. Moreover, coal is in demand around the World, but in particular, in the ever-growing Asian economic power nations.

Stay tuned.

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By Zennie Abraham

Zennie62Media, Inc. CEO Zenophon Abraham AKA Zennie62 YouTube Zennie62.com OaklandNewsNow.com Zennie62 YouTube Partner, Oakland California blogger / vlogger Hire @Zennie62Media, Inc to tell your story.

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