It’s a gas...

Published on Thu, Mar 8, 2001 by Soren Velice

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It’s a gas...

By Soren Velice

In the face of a summer power crunch, local, state and federal agencies will give BP Cherry Point Refinery a green light to operate 14 gas turbines to generate power.

Governor Gary Locke helped assemble representatives from the Northwest Air Pollution Authority (NWAPA), Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to discuss letting BP operate the turbines while permits are pending. They gave the go-ahead to run the turbines for nine to 12 months.

BP says the outfit will comply with all aplicable air quality standards; the agreement does not affect the agencies’ authority to regulate operation while permits are pending. The agreement means BP can shut off the 26 diesel-powered generators brought in over winter as a temporary measure.

The refinery plans to offset emissions from the turbines by reducing nitrogen dioxide output, reducing vapor pressure of gasoline sold to wholesalers – which will reduce carbon monoxide emissions from cars – and selling low-sulfur rather than high-sulfur diesel fuel to a local customer.

As part of the agreement, BP said it will also donate $100,000 to low-income energy assistance programs offered by the Opportunity Council, Salvation Army and Project Hope. BP benefits itself by saving energy costs and keeping people employed.

“This agreement assures that the 875 people who work at the BP refinery will have jobs when the electricity crunch really hits this summer,” business unit leader Rick Porter said.

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