UCG ignition marks final stage before commercialisation

The production of syngas from Linc Energy’s fifth underground coal gasification (UCG) operation at its demonstration facility in Chinchilla, Queensland, represents the final phase in the technological development of the company’s UCG technology prior to its commercial roll-out.

The technology is specifically designed to support the commercial roll out of Linc Energy’s enhanced oil recovery (EOR), gas to liquids (GTL) and clean gas energy applications.

Gasifier 5, ignited in October 2011, features the world’s first multi-panel UCG operation and places Linc Energy in the position of having two separate facilities (Chinchilla and Yerostigaz (Angren)) with multiple gasifiers in operation. The Chinchilla operation is the first of its kind in the western world to operate multipanel UCG gasifiers.

“Gasifier 5 was producing gas within 60 minutes of ignition, the fastest commissioning of any UCG operation in the world,” Linc Energy chief executive officer Peter Bond said.

Gasifier 5 is 132m deep and 820m long. Linc Energy’s aim is to average in excess of 1000m in length for each gasifier in its commercial operations.

Gasifier 5 incorporates the application of proprietary oxygen injection equipment to enable production of higher quality synthesis gas for optimising GTL and other downstream plant designs.

It is estimated Gasifier 5 will produce up to 480,000GJ of energy during the two to three years life expectancy, and gasify 24,000 tonnes of coal depending on the level of oxygen enrichment. The estimated single cavity width is 16m within a coal seam height of 5.5m.

“We have developed and operated successive UCG gasifiers, a GTL demonstration plant, oxygen injection, coil tubing equipment, and a wastewater treatment plant at the Chinchilla facility. To think that this generation of UCG technology, used in the development of Gasifier 5, is designed to produce 78.8 million cubic metres of syngas over its life with the energy equivalent of 89,000 barrels of oil, is very exciting,” Mr Bond said.