One project, multiple impacts – jobs created, waste recycled, domestic fertilizer production revitalized, carbon dioxide sequestered, and recovery of oil reserves improved in GulfCoast oil fields. How can one project deliver so many (and such varied) benefits?
The project is a new, $1.6 billion petrochemical plant. To be built by Faustina Hydrogen Products, a subsidiary of TransCarbon, the plant will produce anhydrous ammonia, which is used to manufacture fertilizer. Ordinarily, anhydrous ammonia is produced from natural gas feedstock. But the Faustina plant will use petroleum coke and high-sulfur coal. These are much cheaper alternatives. In fact, petroleum coke is usually considered waste, a useless by-product of the refining industry.
Prices for natural gas in the United States have been skyrocketing. In fact, prices have been so high that domestic producers of anhydrous ammonia have been undersold by foreign producers that have access to cheap natural gas. For domestic producers, less-expensive alternatives to natural gas represent a welcome development.
But will it be possible to be clean while using petroleum coke and high-sulfur coal? What about carbon dioxide emissions? Well, the carbon dioxide emitted will be industrial-grade. When it is used, it will be effectively sequestered and pumped into underground oil reservoirs to enhance the recovery of “stranded” oil.
The project will create about 1,400 construction jobs and once operations commence, the plant will provide 200 permanent positions. They will pay an average of $75,000 annually along with benefits.