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 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy of Charlotte, N.C., British Gas plc (British Gas) of London, England, and Lurgi Energie und Umwelt GmbH (Lurgi) of Frankfurt, Germany, today announced they have signed an agreement for Duke Energy to be the preferred provider of the British Gas/Lurgi (BGL) gasifier design for coal gasification combined cycle (CGCC) projects in North America. Under the agreement, Duke Energy will lead the marketing of the BGL technology and develop projects utilizing the BGL design in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
 In the gasification process, coal reacts with oxygen and steam at high temperature and pressure to produce a fuel gas. The fuel gas is then cleaned and burned in a combined cycle combustion turbine power plant. A CGCC plant is more efficient and air emissions are significantly less that those produced by conventional coal-fired plants.
 The BGL design consists of a gasifier in which a fixed bed of coal is constantly maintained. The molten ash or slag that is produced leaves the gasifier and is quenched with water to produce a material suitable for commercial uses. The BGL design was developed from Lurgi's fixed-bed dry-bottom gasifier, which is used extensively worldwide. The BGL design was successfully demonstrated by British Gas and Lurgi at a 500 ton-per-day coal plant in Westfield, Scotland. The plant, which supplied electricity to the local transmission grid, used a wide range of U.S. and U.K. coals. The energy conversion of coal to fuel gas at the Westfield plant was greater than 90 percent, making the BGL design the most efficient coal-gas process commercially available.
 "The environmental benefits and electric power plant efficiencies resulting from CGCC technology will set a new standard in power generation options in the U.S. and abroad," said Rhern Wooten, president of Duke Energy. "The BGL design offers utilities an efficient, competitively priced technology."
 David Brooks, director of technology and power generation at British Gas, said: "CGCC technology is a feasible alternative to conventional coal-fired generation particularly when long-term stable energy supplies and fuel price factors are considered. In addition, the environmental performance of CGCC plants is similar to that of natural-gas fired generation."
 Duke Energy, an independent power developer, structures, finances and manages investments in electric power facilities. Duke Energy has ownership and operating interests in three electric generating plants and a transmission company. These facilities, located in the U.S. and South America, represent 450 megawatts of capacity and approximately $880 million in assets. Headquartered in Charlotte, Duke Energy is a wholly owned affiliate of Duke Power Co. (NYSE: DUK), the seventh largest investor-owned utility in the U.S.
 British Gas, headquartered in London, is the world's largest private integrated gas company. Its operations include gas distribution, transmission, exploration and production. British Gas, through its Global Gas business unit, is actively developing gas distribution and power generation projects worldwide. In North America, British Gas owns Consumers Gas in Toronto and has a major ownership in Natural Gas Clearinghouse in Houston. It also has significant worldwide ownership interests in exploration and production.
 Headquartered in Frankfurt, Lurgi is a leading engineering company with operations in more than 60 countries. Lurgi's experience with gasification technology is extensive. It has licensed and engineered more than 170 fixed-bed dry-bottom gasifiers. Approximately 90 percent of coal currently gasified in the world is processed using Lurgi technology. Today, three major gasification plants that use the Lurgi design are in operation in South Africa, China and the U.S. The U.S. project, located in North Dakota, produces 140 million standard cubic feet-per-day of substitute natural gas from locally mined lignite.
 In May, a Duke Energy proposal to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) was selected for funding under Round Five of the Clean Coal Technology Program. The proposed $780 million, 484-megawatt project will utilize the BGL technology and a molten carbonate fuel cell which will produce 2.5 megawatts of electricity.
 "DOE funding of the proposed project will further facilitate full- scale commercial applications of the advanced BGL technology," Wooten said.
 -0- 9/29/93
 /CONTACT: Anne Sheffield of Duke Energy, 704-382-8063, or Peter Crumpler of British Gas plc, 071-611-2495, or Peter Herbert of Lurgi Energie und Umwelt GmbH, 069-5808-3098/

CO: Duke Energy; Duke Power Co.; British Gas plc; Lurgi Energie und
 Umwelt GmbH ST: North Carolina IN: OIL UTI SU:

MM -- CH002 -- 6696 09/29/93 09:34 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 29, 1993

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