Anglo American, one of the world’s largest mining groups, and Shell Gas & Power International have formed an Alliance in the field of coal conversion.
The two companies will take selective equity positions in emerging coal-conversion projects, combining Anglo American’s coal reserves and mining capabilities with Shell’s gasification and conversion technologies. The objective is the extraction and gasification of coal with the subsequent polygeneration of products including chemicals, hydrogen, power, synthetic liquid fuels and other uses.
Burning the synthesis gas generated by the gasification of coal emits lower quantities of greenhouse gases and pollutants than traditional coal burning and is the cleanest way yet found to harness the energy potential of coal. Even with that relative reduction, gasification still produces a large amount of carbon dioxide. Wide-scale implementation that does not result in driving up the loading of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will require very large-scale carbon capture and sequestration.
The Alliance partners are currently investigating an opportunity to incorporate Anglo American’s Monash Energy Project, based in Australia, into the Alliance. This project is exploring technologies that produce liquid fuels from brown coal. The project initially envisages a coalmine, drying and gasification plant, carbon dioxide capture and storage and a gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant with associated power generation.
The brown coal fuel source and proposed processing facilities are located in the Latrobe Valley, 200km to the east of Melbourne, Australia. The area being examined for CO2 injection and storage is in the depleting oil and gas fields of the offshore Gippsland Basin.
The first stage commercial plant in the Monash Project is being designed to produce about 60,000 bpd of synthetic hydrocarbon liquids of which 80% would be ultra low-sulfur high-quality automotive diesel. Commissioning of the plant is targeted for 2016.
Inquiry Into Australia’s Future Oil Supply and Alternative Transport Fuels; Submission by Monash Energy February 24, 2006