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US Coal Plant First to Use Carbon Capture Technology

Monday, 28 Sep 2009 | 11:42 AM ET

The Mountaineer Power Plant in West Virginia has become the world’s first coal-fired power plant to capture some of the carbon dioxide it churns into the air and store it in the ground.

US Coal Plant First to Use Carbon Capture Technology
The recently opened Mountaineer power plant in West Virginia is the world's very first coal-fired power plant to capture and bury some of the carbon dioxide it churns out. Philippe Joubert, president of Alstom Power, which is supplying the technology for the plant, talks to CNBC.

“We are talking about cleaning what is currently one of the major problems in the environment,” Phillipe Joubert, president of France’s Alstom Power, told CNBC. Alstom Power is supplying the capture and storage technology for the plant, which is owned by American Electric Power.

The goal is to trap the CO2, a greenhouse gas, underground for thousands of years instead of letting it enter the atmosphere.

Given the radical nature of the technology, there are significant concerns about the unintended consequences of such below-ground storage, but Joubert sounded a reassuring note.

“We have been using this technology for years, and mostly the oil and gas companies have been using it, and this is absolutely a proven technology,” Joubert told CNBC.

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