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Shell and Anglo American Advance Monash Coal-to-Liquids Project

Energy Investments Australia Pty Ltd (Shell) and Anglo American plc have signed a joint development agreement (JDA) for the two companies to further advance the Monash Energy clean coal-to-liquids project—including carbon capture and sequestration—in the state of Victoria, Australia. (Earlier post.)

This agreement is the first under a clean coal energy alliance formed by Shell and Anglo American in May 2006.

The JDA covers a number of project development phases. In the initial concept phase, which is expected to conclude during 2007, Monash Energy, in conjunction with technical advisers from Anglo American and Shell, will carry out a study of the commercial and technical aspects, including carbon capture and storage. If successfully concluded, the study would form the basis for the feasibility phase and demonstration activities.

The Monash Energy project would involve the gasification—via Shell’s proprietary coal gasification process—of Anglo American’s brown coal from Victoria’s Latrobe Valley for further conversion into clean transportation fuels, including virtually zero-sulphur, synthetic diesel, using Shell’s proprietary gas-to-liquids technology. A number of locations have been identified as potential sites for the storage of CO2 from the process.

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.

Shell is growing its clean coal energy portfolio from a strong position in China where it has already granted 15 licenses for use of its coal gasification technology, according to Shell Gas & Power Executive Vice President for Global Businesses, Peter de Wit.

The combination of Anglo American’s resource capabilities with Shell’s technological leadership in clean coal energy will be important factors as we aim to progress the Monash Energy project from concept to feasibility stage. Anglo American is aiming to be at the forefront of the movement that is ensuring coal remains an important and sustainable energy source for the future. The development of technologies for clean coal and carbon capture are vital to addressing concerns around climate change.

—Tony Redman, Technical Director of Anglo American and Chairman of Anglo Coal



Coal to liquids cannot be clean from a co2 standpoint. When you burn the liquids, you release co2.


True ... but it could be a lot worse if they weren't at least capturing the initial CO2.


I think this project is a stalling tactic and a subterfuge. The 2016 date for mission accomplished gives another 10 years to burn large amounts of brown coal (lignite) while working on a minute percentage of it. And whaddayaknow there will be oil replacement facility that can be expanded to serve an eager public. My guess if the carbon capture part works out to be too much trouble then it will be sidelined. That means double CO2 per unit compared to oil based fuel.

Carbon tax or its equivalent would soon cut out the b.s.

Paul Dietz

Coal to liquids cannot be clean from a co2 standpoint. When you burn the liquids, you release co2.

OTOH, capturing the byproduct CO2 from the FT reactor (and from combustion of the fuel stream not converted to liquid fuel) is better than releasing it also.

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