Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (SES), a coal gasification company, and Yima Coal Industry Group Co., Ltd. (YIMA), a large Chinese integrated coal company, have signed a preliminary agreement to establish a joint venture company to build and operate a new integrated coal gasification to methanol to Dimethyl Ether (DME) plant. The new plant, to be located in Henan Province, China, will help supply the region’s growing petrochemical and transportation fuel needs.
This marks SES’s third project in China. SES is also involved in a coal gasification project with Shandong Hai Hua Coal & Chemical Company Ltd., and in another coal-to-DME project with Golden Concord Holdings Ltd.
The SES-YIMA plant will utilize SES’s U-GAS fluidized bed reactor gasification technology—licensed from the Gas Technology Institute (GTI)—to convert low-quality, high-ash coals into syngas. The syngas produced will then be used as a feedstock for the production of methanol, a basic building block used in manufacturing for a wide variety of chemical products including plastics, paints, construction materials, as a hydrogen carrier for fuel cell applications, or as an alternative fuel.
In this application, the coal-derived methanol will also be used to produce DME, an alternative to liquefied petroleum gas, liquid natural gas, diesel and gasoline. The parties are also considering opportunities for power generation applications. Formation of the JVC is subject to the negotiation and execution of a definitive agreement and approvals from both companies.
When completed, the Plant is expected to have a daily capacity of 10 million standard cubic meters of syngas and an annual capacity of 1 million tons of methanol.
With nearly 100 million people, Henan is the most populous province in China and one of the region's leading coal and aluminum production centers.
Overview of China’s Lead in Coal Gasification Implementation (Dow Chemical)