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SES and Golden Concord Sign Joint Venture Contract to Build Coal Gasification, Methanol and DME Plant in China

Synthesis Energy Systems, a coal gasification company, and Inner Mongolia Golden Concord (Xilinhot) Energy Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Golden Concord Holdings Ltd., a private provider of electricity, steam and chilling water in China, have signed a co-operative joint venture contract to build an integrated coal gasification plant and methanol and dimethyl ether (DME) production plant.

Located in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China, the plant will use low-value lignite coal to meet the region’s growing need for non-petroleum-based fuels and petrochemical feedstocks. SES and Golden Concord will own 51% and 49% respectively of the joint venture named SES-GCL (Inner Mongolia) Coal Chemical Company.

The plant will utilize U-GAS technology, which SES licenses from the Gas Technology Institute, to gasify low-quality, high-ash lignite coals from Golden Concord’s coal mine in Xilinguole, Inner Mongolia and other mines in the area into synthesis gas with an output of approximately 84,000 Normal cubic meters per hour of gross syngas.

The syngas produced will then be used as a feedstock for the production of a 225,000 ton/year methanol plant. Methanol is 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, and can be blended with gasoline. In this application, the coal-derived methanol will also be used to produce 150,000 ton/year of DME, an alternative to liquefied petroleum gas, liquid natural gas, diesel and gasoline.

DME is also becoming accepted as a synthetic liquefied petroleum gas blendstock in China.

Both SES and Golden Concord have begun discussing future plans for expanding the syngas-methanol-DME Plant to further capture economic opportunities.

In May, SES signed a preliminary agreement to establish a joint venture company to build and operate a new integrated coal gasification to methanol to DME plant with Yima Coal Industry Group. SES is also involved in a coal gasification project with Shandong Hai Hua Coal & Chemical Company Ltd. (Earlier post.) 



How many of these projects are there in China these days? I can't keep track of them any more.


I wonder what they are going to do with all the carbon. I would imagine that it will be put into the environment and not sequestered, because that is less expensive to do. Now that China is using much more energy, it is time for them to do their part on carbon as well.


Yes it is.

Don't count on it though.


Apart from the coal, these coal-to-chemical or coal-to-liquid plants ussually consume and pollute very large amounts of water!


Looking at previous comments. The concerns expressed are quite relevant. However, the syngas-methanol-DME process could use other (and renewable) carbon sources as feedstock. The process holds the potential for providing a real technology development pathway that just might allow us to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable ones.

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