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South Bay Digest

Torrance

January 31, 1985

The City Council has unanimously approved the construction of an energy-producing co-generator that burns a petroleum byproduct and could, the company says, save millions of gallons of oil a year.

GWF Power Systems Co. of Irvine, a sister company of the Garrett Corp., had previously received construction approval from the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Bill Bowler, GWF's vice president of operations, said he expects to break ground in March for the new facility, on Garrett property near the corner of Del Amo Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue, and begin operating by late December.

GWF's generator is unique, Bowler said, because a closed turbine recirculates a sealed volume of pressurized air from its exhaust back into its intake. Contemporary gas turbines are open and take air from the atmosphere and emit it as exhaust.

The generator will burn petroleum coke--a byproduct of the refining process--in a fluidized combustor at a low temperature to decrease the amount of nitrogen oxide produced.

Bowler said that by burning the petroleum coke, the Torrance plant could in a year save the equivalent of 160,000 barrels of oil, or more than 6 million gallons.

The complex will be operated 24 hours a day and produce 9,000 kilowatts of electricity and 2,000 pounds per hour of steam.

Owners of industrial businesses near the planned complex expressed concern that the facility would not meet the safeguards the company claimed.

The City Council, however, approved it unanimously after being reassured by city staff that all safety measures had been explored, and that the city retained the right to shut down the facility if any violations occurred.

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