Each year hundreds of plant professionals and corporate executives from leading coal-fired generating companies around the world gather at the American Coal Users’ Group (formerly the PRB Coal Users’ Group) Annual Symposium for exclusive industry coverage. Don’t miss this once-a-year chance to learn more about the responsible, reliable and innovative ways coal is used to generate heat. Share new ideas and proven best practices in the areas of safety, environmental compliance, maintenance, operations and more.

About the American Coal Users’ Group

Formerly known as the PRB Coal Users’ Group the American Coal Users’ Group focuses on sharing practices promoting the safe, efficient, and economic use of coal for producers, ports, terminals, generators, transporters and industrial users.

The American Coal Users’ Group Symposium is held in conjunction with the ELECTRIC POWER Conference each year. Registration to attend the Symposium includes access to all ELECTRIC POWER Conference and Exhibition activities.

Sponsor the ACUG Symposium!

Contact Kim Arellano for details and custom sponsorship opportunities!
karellano@accessintel.com | 713-343-1879

Tuesday, April 14

Don't miss this celebration of 20 years of sharing lessons learned. Event will highlight all past Award Recipients and as always will offer great food, drinks and door prizes.

Wednesday, April 15

9:30 am - 10:00 am
Welcome and Recognition's
Moderator/Chair
Jon Rice
Director
Luminant
Back to basics, what are some of the challenges faced today in the coal fire power industry to reduce the chance of a combustible dust explosion. Understanding the basics of combustible dust hazards, basic control, and mitigation practices can help keep you safe and in business.
Speaker
Ryan Middleton
Engineering Specialist
FM Global
10:20 am - 10:40 am
Speaker
Brett Amheiser
Manager
Luminant
10:40 am - 11:10 am
Take time to discuss with your peer what we learned so far and pose challenges to get real time feedback from Board members and others in the industry. These Interactive Sessions are designed to get more input from the audience.
Facilitator
Jon Rice
Director
Luminant
11:10 am - 11:30 am
Speaker
John Donner
Engineer II
Dominion Energy
1:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Meeting both federal and state regulations while addressing coal combustion residuals (CCR) at operating power plants presents a wide range of challenges. For Platte River Power Authority (Platte River), meeting these CCR requirements became an opportunity to adopt new, innovative technology for the utility's largest generation resource, Rawhide Energy Station Unit 101 (Rawhide). Rawhide has been in operation since 1984. With net capacity of 280 megawatts (MW), the plant provides more than half of Platte River Authority's annual delivered energy. The plant was designed with a sluiced bottom ash system and redundant bottom ash pond storage ponds, where the ash settles to the bottom of the pond and water is returned to the plant for reuse. In developing the CCR compliance strategy, Platte River desired a solution to address groundwater separation and remove ash transport water. Achieving these twin objectives would safeguard the long-term availability of Rawhide as a critical source of power for Platte River customers. To meet the CCR rule's stipulations, Platte River elected to replace its existing sluicing system with a mechanical ash removal system from Babcock & Wilcox that allowed for redundancy and operational flexibility. Platte River also closed its existing bottom ash ponds and installed a new settling basin. The project addressed the entire scope of CCR compliance, including identifying water redirection options, pond compliance alternatives, equipment selection, ash bunker locations, and potential landfill impacts on the more than 4,500-acre site. The Rawhide CCR Compliance Upgrade won the 2019 ENR Mountain States best Energy/Industrial project.
Speaker
Jace Staponski
Senior Plant Mechanical Engineer - Rawhide Energy Station
Platte River Power Authority
Speaker
Jim Trask
Department Manager
Burns & McDonnell
After decades of minor changes and clarifications to longstanding, OSHA adopted, requirements, the 2019 edition of NFPA 51B, Standard for Fire Prevention during Welding, Cutting, and Other Hot Work brings about some major changes including new definitions, requirements for fire extinguishers to meet NFPA 10, doubling of the duration of Fire Watch and Fire Monitoring after Hot Work, and additions of new Annex material
Speaker
Byron Ellis
Sr. Staff Risk Engineer
Entergy Services, Inc.
Speaker
Mike Gill
Fuel Foreman
Kansas City Power & Light
2:20 pm - 2:45 pm
Take time to discuss with your peer what we learned so far and pose challenges to get real time feedback from Board members and others in the industry. These Interactive Sessions are designed to get more input from the audience.
Speaker
Keaton Riddle
Manager, Generation System Ops
Westar Energy
2:45 pm - 3:05 pm
Speaker
Paul Kuhn
Director of Coal Operations
BASF Corporation
Changes in fuel quality have an impact on observed slagging and fouling in coal fired boilers. PacifiCorp's coal fleet is actively responding to a fuel quality change at one plant and proactively responding to an anticipated fuel quality change at another plant. This presentation will look at the problems being faced by each of the two plants, and provide insight on why a change in cleaning media for furnace slag deposit removal is the common solution.
Speaker
Jeffrey S. Kite, P.E.
Sr. Engineer
PacifiCorp

Thursday, April 16

Luminant's innovative use of the Performance Optimization Center for fleet wide monitoring and diagnostics.
Speaker
Ben Elliott
Superintendent
Luminant
9:40 am - 10:00 am
10:00 am - 10:20 am
Take time to discuss with your peer what we learned so far and pose challenges to get real time feedback from Board members and others in the industry. These Interactive Sessions are designed to get more input from the audience.
Facilitator
Andy Cofas
Plant Manager
Platte River Power Authority
10:20 am - 10:40 am
After the rupture of coal silo cone welds at multiple plants, Evergy structural engineers were instructed to develop an inspection protocol to verify the condition of silo cone to skirt welds fleetwide. Black & Veatch was hired as Owner's Engineer for the project. The initial plan was to perform destructive examination; however, there was concern the procedure may exacerbate or even initiate new performance challenges. It was decided to investigate a structural monitoring procedure using strain gauges. • A finite element analysis of a silo cone was developed. • The analysis evaluated the effects of simulated cracks and the resulting stress distribution. • The evaluation was used to determine the optimal location and spacing of strain gauges. • I&C engineers determined the requirements to transmit the strain gauge signals to the PI server. • Technical specifications and engineering drawings will be generated and issued to the installation contractor. Phase I will consist of installing strain gauges on one coal silo cone on Iatan Unit 1 during the fall 2019 outage. • Strain gauges will be installed, have their continuity checked, and communication with the PI server verified. • The cone will be filled with water for gauge testing and commissioning. • Measured strain values will be compared to predicted values to assess correlation with the finite element model. Plan Expectations and Benefits Success of Phase I will be evaluated for Phase II implementation fleetwide for all coal silos. • Initial costs are comparable to the destructive examination estimates. • The destructive examinations would be recurring O&M costs. • Phase II implementation is expected to be capital expenditure with negligible annual costs and continuous benefit. • Identify deficient areas to allow targeted repairs. • Catastrophic failure of a cone can be prevented. • Risks such as lost electric generation, potential damage to assets, and safety concerns can be mitigated.
Speaker
Michael Kraljic
Principal Engineer
KCP&L and Westar, Evergy Companies
Speaker
Adam Farrell
Civil/Structural Engineering Supervisor
KCP&L and Westar, Evergy Companies
Speaker
Mark Dittus
Global Plant Modernization Manger
Black & Veatch
The case study describes the implementation of a new OPTIMAL Water Recovery System used to separate fine PRB coal dust particles from water and recover the water for use in either a Wet Dust Extractor or to remove solids from water before sending the effluent to a pump system therefore reducing pump maintenance and increasing its longevity. The Optimal DBG was developed in order to effectively reduce the water consumption of the Englo Wet Dust Extraction System. The technology has been on the market for several years and used in other applications that ranged from wood dust to recycled metals and rubber dust. However in early 2019 after a considerable amount of design iterations and testing the system was perfected for use with PRB coal dust. The coal dust is very fine and is considered to be fine float dust that ranges from 1 to 200 micron in size. The Optimal DBG is designed with parameters to have a small footprint, low power consumption, high volume capabilities, no filters to change, and low O&M cost. Not only can it be used to recover water for dust extraction systems, but it is also an inexpensive method to "de-water" other type of solids on the plant site and improve the operating conditions while reducing water usage throughout the plant.
Speaker
Tim W. Warden
General Manager
Engart Inc
Power Generation Industry Trends dictate a need to create and drive efficiency through innovation. A core value of Safety benefits directly to a site with a bonus of schedule gains in reduced project hours which relates to reduced spend. The embracing of Rope Access allows these values to all be recognized. Pre Planning with an emphasis of Rope Access as your mechanism of innovation that looks at all aspects of a project will lead to achieved goals of reduced field risk hours and exposure, cost savings from scaffold and field hours and combination of crews to provide efficiency and a higher targeted workface time. Rope Access is the highest benefit when looking at the opportunity for Inspection savings via access while considering the flow down of potential finds. Identification of potential repair capacities/needs drives the ability to identify other trades work that could be done via Rope Access in conjunction so the crafts are available onsite either way. Level III's are necessary for Inspection or Mechanical crews without needing to be proficient in either field. This allows the fluid crews to be manage and cross trained for the highest level of effectiveness. Adapting Rope Access as a first means of access into your planning and business will drive a safety culture backed by quality and integrity to give your projects and teams a higher level of reliability in your efforts. This is evident in both Project efforts and Routine Maintenance. Rope Access is the world trend that is accepted widely and finding its place in the United States. We can all be the sponsors and leaders in one of the highest direct impact culture changes in the Power Generation Industry.
Speaker
Luis Velez
GM, Rope Access Integrated Services US
Acuren Inspection Services
Coal combustion performance is one of the most important and baffling factors impacting overall unit performance. In this presentation I am going to discuss some of my personal experience from working throughout the Luminant fleet to optimize coal combustion. Come to hear about what Luminant has experienced. You might hear about an issue that you have faced too
Speaker
Ben Lawrence
Principal Engineer
Luminant
At Ameren's Rush Island Energy Center, an issue with coal dust accumulation at the discharge end of two reclaim belt conveyor transfers was a constant problem. Laborer crews would wash the areas and within minutes, there would be new coal dust accumulations. These conveyor discharge areas were located under the energy center's 1.2 million ton coal stockpile inside concrete tunnels. Despite repeated attempts by energy center maintenance crews to replace seals and wear liners at the transfer chutes and skirtboards, the rapid dust accumulation could not be abated. An engineering analysis pinpointed the root cause of the problem and corrective action was taken. The solution was low cost and required some minor transfer chute changes which solved the dusting problem. This presentation will identify the potential root causes which every coal operator should consider when dealing with fugitive dusting from transfer chutes. In addition, the presentation will provide the engineering concepts needed to design low-cost solutions to transfer chute fugitive dusting.
Speaker
Mike Schimmelpfennig
Principal Engineer
Ameren
The good, the bad and the ugly truth A coal yard fire is never good, but it can be a good lesson. This session reviews a fire at a magnetic separator. We'll explore what happened, focusing on what went right and probable cause. The ugly truth is you can never stop the fight against coal dust.
Speaker
Edwin Martin
Mgr. Plant Operations
CPS Energy

Friday, April 17

America has a vast coal resource covering many if the interior states. The USA has all ranks of coal from Lignite to Anthracite and everything in between. This presentation will cover the major coal resources in the US and the issues power plants have when utilizing them. These include spontaneous combustion, mill capacity, NOX control, slag and ash deposits, and pollution control. Major coal reserves discussed include ND and Texas Lignite, PRB coals, Illinois Basin coals, Pittsburgh #8 and other Appalachian coals, with minor discussion on metallurgical and locally mined coals.
Instructor
Rod J. Hatt
CTO
Coal Combustion, Inc.
This course will improve your understanding of why unwanted events happen, how to prevent events and protect your people and mission when events occur, and how to better learn and improve from your events. The course begins with an interactive overview of the principles and key concepts of HPI followed by a brief introduction to the error-reduction tools. It will wrap up with a challenging review and application of HPI's philosophy of event learning that enables improvement while building trust, engagement, and REAL accountability throughout the organization.
Facilitator
Jon Rice
Director
Luminant
Speaker
Wes Havard
Operational Excellence
Luminant
9:30 am - 11:00 am
Take time to discuss with your peer what we learned so far and pose challenges to get real time feedback from Board members and others in the industry. These Interactive Sessions are designed to get more input from the audience.

Sponsors

Pricing & Rates

ACUG Conference Pass

Access all ACUG & ELECTRIC POWER conference sessions, networking events, lunch, general and keynote sessions, and exhibit hall.

Advance

12/17/2019 - 02/17/2020

$1224

Register

Regular

02/18/2020 - 04/13/2020

$1424

Register

On-site

04/14/2020 - 04/17/2020

$1624

Register

ACUG Conference & Hotel Package

Includes 3-nights lodging at the host hotel and the ACUG Conference Pass at a discounted rate all in a single package.

Advance

12/17/2019 - 02/17/2020

$1885

Register

Regular

02/18/2020 - 04/13/2020

$2085

Register

On-site

04/14/2020 - 04/17/2020

$2285

Register