Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), Alberta
Exergy Technologies, Inc.
Golder Associates, Ltd.
IEA Clean Coal Centre
Impala Asset Management
International Finance, LLC
Livermore National Laboratory
Mohr Davidow Ventures
PFA Consulting LLC
Energy New Zealand
U.S. Department of Energy
U.S. Department of Energy - National Energy Technology Laboratory
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Underground coal gasification (UCG) will develop more global
reserves using in-situ conversion of stranded coal deposits
into power, fuels, chemicals and other products. Nearly
85% of known coal reserves are unmineable with surface mining
techniques, but UCG is producing fuels and hydrocarbon feedstock
today from unrecoverable coal deposits.
Countries are turning to UCG to fully utilize their coal
resources in an economically viable and environmentally
acceptable manner. Using UCG technology even without a carbon-capture-and-sequestration
plan could also be eligible for carbon credits.
In the US, BP and GasTech Inc. are developing an UCG demonstration
project that will test GasTech's technology in the Powder
River Basin that will be followed by a commercial-scale
UCG project. BP and Ergo
Exergy Technologies will cooperate in UCG projects using
Ergo's expertise in developing once unrecoverable coal through
its proprietary in-situ technology.
BP also signed with Lawrence Livermore National Lab to cooperate
in UCG technology development and projects, addressing carbon
management to evaluate CO2 storage feasibility; environmental
risk assessment/management; and numerical modeling of UCG
India's known reserves will be exhausted in less than 40
years if conventional mining methods continue and much of
its reserves may not be extractable with current mining
technologies. India sees coal gasification as a major energy
source for achieving the country's economic growth, and
anticipates the technology contributing as much as 9% to
10% to the country's domestic energy needs over the next
UCG is a major part of India's energy policy, as well as
its 11th five-year economic development plan. The country
is experiencing an emerging leadership role in clean-coal
technologies. India looks to utilize its vast coal reserves,
which are the forth-largest reserves in the world, to reduce
dependency on oil and gas imports. Given its growing demand,
UCG will be used to tap India's coal reserves that are difficult
to extract economically using conventional technologies.
South Africa is at the forefront of research in using lower-grade
coal for power generation.
Eskom's UCG pilot plant at its Majuba power station in Mpumalanga
uses UCG syngas to fuel the station's boilers. A proposed
$3 billion, 2,100-MW IGCC power station will receive syngas
from an adjacent commercial-scale UCG project.
Construction is under way on China's first UCG project in
the Northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The $112
million project is a joint venture between Hebei Xin'ao
Group and China University of Mining and Technology. The
project will produce 1.5 MMcmd of syngas and yield 100,000-tpy
of methanol, as well as generate 32.4 million kWh/year of
Vietnam Coal and Minerals Corp., Marubeni and Linc Energy
will use UCG technology to develop 30 billon tons of bituminous
coal reserves in the Song Hong (Red River) Delta for power
generation. Marubeni initially provided $100 million to
explore the area.
Cougar Energy UK is also developing a 400-MW Pakistani power
project with the country's Sindh Coal Authority that will
use UCG to gasify Thar coalfield reserves.
Discuss the latest UCG project and technology developments
at SYNGAS Refiner's annual Underground Coal Gasification
conference, July 16-17, 2008.