|The Arckaringa CTL and cogen project is situated close to a major rail line and highway, and is targeting exports to Asia as well as domestic use. Click to enlarge.|
Altona Resources Plc, an Australia-based energy company, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CNOOC (Beijing) Energy Investment Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corporation, towards the development of the 10 million barrel per year (30,000 barrels per day) coal-to-liquids (CTL) and 560 MW co-generation Arckaringa Project in South Australia. CNOOC is one of the three largest State-owned oil companies in China.
Altona envisions a future expansion of the more than A$3 billion (US$2.6 billion) Arckaringa project to increase production to 45,000 barrels per day and 840 MW of export power as markets develop.
We have always recognized that Altona would need a partner of major stature, given the size of the Arckaringa Project, and we are therefore delighted to have the support and interest of CNOOC Energy. With their immense resources and capabilities, CNOOC Energy is an ideal partner for Altona to work closely with in evaluating technology, off-take, financing and construction opportunities.—Altona Chairman Chris Lambert
Arckaringa holds a 100% interest in three exploration licences covering 2,500 sq. kms in the northern portion of the Permian Arckaringa Basin in South Australia. These include three coal deposits containing more than 7.5 billion tonnes of coal: Westfield, Wintinna and Murloocoppie. All three lie close to the Adelaide to Darwin railway and the Stuart Highway.
|The Arckaringa process. Click to enlarge.|
The Arckaringa CTL project is preparing to begin with open cut mining of the Wintinna resource. The base case production of 10 million barrels per year of liquids will require 10 million tonnes of coal per year. The current projected CTL plant design is based on the use of:
ConocoPhillips (CoP) Technology for Gasification;
Rentech Technology for FT Synthesis; and
UOP Hydro treating and Hydro cracking Technology for Product Upgrade.
Power generation will be done with a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine.
Total project expenditure per barrel is expected to be US$35 after a power sales revenue credit, according to a Royal Bank of Scotland project financial model. Operating expenses per barrel will be US$20, according to Altona. Those figures decrease with the proposed future expansion.
The CTL plant will get all its process water from the coal, which has a high moisture content. Altona says that the operation will be a net supplier of clean water. Groundwater management strategies are still under development as part of current prefeasibility studies. Altona has developed a strategy for carbon capture and storage, and has identified a site in the East Officer Basin (~100 km away) for geo-sequestration of CO2.