Linc Energy celebrates 50 years of commercial UCG

Australian underground coal gasification (UCG) and diversified energy company, Linc Energy celebrated 50 years of commercial UCG at its Yerostigaz facility in Angren, Uzbekistan, this year.

Linc Energy’s commercial UCG Yerostigaz facility in Uzbekistan has been supplying UCG syngas for power generation since 1961.

Linc Energy CEO Peter Bond, based in Queensland, said UCG was first developed in the former Soviet Union through the ‘20s and ’30s and transitioned to an operating stage in the ’40s, ’50s and into the ’60s.

“UCG is not readily understood by the energy industry as a whole in terms of what it can do for unlocking energy that would otherwise be left void or stranded,” Mr Bond said.

“The fact that this process of extracting energy actually exists and has been operating successfully and continuously for 50 years providing energy for homes and people in a place like Uzbekistan is testament to the commercial viability of this form of energy and a very strong reason to celebrate its existence.

“UCG exists today because of the amazing people who have worked at Yerostigaz for the last 50 years. Yerostigaz and what has occurred there in the last five decades in commercialising UCG is nothing less than magnificent.”

Linc Energy’s Chinchilla demonstration facility in Queensland has been trialling UCG technology for almost 12 years.

“I am very proud of what Linc Energy has achieved at Chinchilla in Australia,” Mr Bond said.

“We have taken that technology into its fifth generation of development towards the rollout of our commercial model that can be used anywhere in the world on billions of tonnes of stranded coal.

“This coal can be transformed into huge volumes of clean gas for power generation or billions of barrels of ultra clean diesel or jet fuel. It truly is a magnificent achievement but that legacy only exists today because of the achievements at Yerostigaz.

“I thank my team at Yerostigaz and I can’t wait for the next 50 years. We need to go and grab our destiny and we need to grab it now.”

In a world-first in March 2011, Mr Peter Bond drove a diesel car from Queensland to Perth, a distance of more than 5500km, on ultra-clean diesel fuel created from the company’s own UCG and gas to liquids (GTL) technologies. He drove from Linc Energy’s Chinchilla demonstration facility through to Perth to demonstrate that the synthetic GTL diesel produced by Linc Energy’s UCG to GTL process is a reliable fuel that is cleaner and more efficient than conventional diesel and ready for commercialisation.

“We have gasified our own coal through our unique Linc Energy UCG process and fed it through our Fisher Tropsch facility to create synthetic crude oil or syncrude, which was then refined into synthetic diesel, and that is what will fuel the Linc Energy car across the continent,” Mr Bond said.