The Panda Hummel Station Power Plant is a 1,124MW natural gas fired, combined-cycle power plant proposed to replace the 400MW Sunbury coal fired power plant, which was decommissioned in 2014 due to low natural gas prices and the introduction of strict environmental regulations by the US Government.

Touted to be one of the biggest coal to natural gas conversion projects in the US, the project is being developed by a joint venture (JV) of Panda Power Funds and Sunbury Generation.

The new plant will be located adjacent to the site of the decommissioned coal-fired power plant, covering an area of approximately 18 acres within the 192-acre Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone (KOEZ). The KOEZ is being developed by Sunbury Generation and Panda Power Funds’ affiliate Arcova Development. The site is located on the west bank of the Susquehanna River in Shamokin Dam Borough, Snyder County, Pennsylvania.

Construction works for the Marcellus Shale gas-fuelled power plant are scheduled to start in late-2015 and commissioning is scheduled for the second half of 2017.

Panda Hummel Station power plant project benefits

The output from the Pennsylvanian combined-cycle power plant will be sufficient to serve approximately one million homes, primarily within Philadelphia and the New York metropolitan area.

Compared to the retired coal fired power plant, the new plant will generate 180% more power, use approximately 97% less cooling water and reduce sulphur dioxide (SO₂) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by more than 90%.

The project is expected to generate roughly 900 construction jobs as well as 35 direct jobs and 52 indirect jobs during the operations phase.

Contractors involved with the Panda Hummel Station power plant

The project management, engineering, procurement, construction and start-up services for the project will be rendered by Bechtel, whereas Siemens will supply the power island package consisting of natural gas turbines, steam turbine, generators and heat recovery steam generators as well as instrumentation and controls systems.

Panda Hummel Station power plant make-up

The power plant will be equipped with three SGT6-5000F gas turbines, one SST6-5000 steam turbine, three SGen6-1000A air-cooled generators, one hydrogen-cooled SGen6-2000H generator, three NEM DrumPlus heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) and the SPPA-T3000 control system.

The new plant will further benefit from the presence of existing infrastructure, including electrical interconnection, water intake, water treatment and storm water runoff systems.

Financing for the 1,124MW natural gas-fired power plant

Patriot is an 829MW combined-cycle power plant being constructed on an 85-acre site in Clinton Township, Lycoming County, Montgomery Borough, Pennsylvania, US.

The project achieved financial closure in October 2015. Goldman Sachs, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Investec acted as joint lead arrangers for $710m senior debt, while $125m equity investment is being provided by Siemens Financial Services (SFS).

UGI Sunbury’s natural gas supply pipeline

“Compared to the retired coal fired power plant, the new plant will generate 180% more power, use approximately 97% less cooling water and reduce sulphur dioxide (SO₂) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by more than 90%.”

The Marcellus Shale gas required for the power plant will be sourced from the MARC 1, Regency and Transcontinental regional gas pipelines, via UGI Sunbury’s proposed 35-mile (56.3km) lateral pipeline. The new 20in-diameter steel pipeline will be designed to transport 200,000 dekatherm (Dth) a day of natural gas.

UGI Sunbury, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UGI Energy Services, expects the pipeline project to cost approximately $160m and generate 500 construction jobs. The new pipeline is scheduled to start operations early in 2017 and will additionally complement and serve natural gas distribution systems operated by UGI Penn Natural Gas as well as UGI Central Penn Gas.

Grid connection for the power plant

The output from the project will be conveyed to the grid via PJM Interconnection’s recently completed 146-mile (235km), 500kV Susquehanna-Roseland Electric Reliability transmission line.