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China Moving Ahead with Shenhua CTL Project; NuCoal in Canada Focusing on CTL Gasoline Project

Project developers in both China and Canada are moving forward with new coal-to-liquid (CTL) fuel facilities, according to the Coal-to-Liquids Coalition (CTLC).

China’s Shenhua Energy Co Ltd recently announced that will begin construction on a CTL plant in October 2010. (Earlier post.) The plant will be jointly developed with South Africa-based Sasol, the world’s largest CTL company.

The plant will be located in the northern area of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, with an expected price tag of $7 billion. The project is ultimately expected to convert approximately 3 million tons of coal annually to produce an output of 80,000 barrels of oil products daily.

The plant is part of Shenhua’s reported plans to spend $58 billion over the next 10 years developing coal liquefaction facilities. Recently Shenhua announced that it plans to conduct a second test production run at its already completed Erdos project in Inner Mongolia. This 1,000 hour test follows a successful trial run held earlier this year.

Canadian developer NuCoal recently announced that it expects a CTL plant to be operating in southern Saskatchewan within the next few years. In a presentation at its annual general meeting, NuCoal President Alan Cruickshank said that coal-to-liquids with a gasoline product via the ExxonMobil process (earlier post) was one of the three monetization strategies for the company. NuCoal is also exploring in situ (underground) gasification.

NuCoal’s CTL operations model mimics a Shenhua trial plant, and is targeting a modular plant design. Each module is to produce 50,000 barrels per day. One tonne of coal will produce approximately two barrels (84 gallons US) of gasoline.

NuCoal is targeting a phase 1 production rate of 150,000 bpd, with CO2 managed as one of the byproducts of production, with likely application in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Cruickshank said one of the most important business opportunities for such a CTL plant lies in shipping it via pipeline to the United States.

The company is currently engaged in establishing its agreements with large stakeholders, technology providers and partners, and proceeding with a variety of scoping studies.


Nick Lyons

According to the energy content of various hydrocarbons:

1 ton coal = 25M BTU
2 barrels gasoline = 11.2M BTU

More than half the energy in the coal is lost doing this conversion to gasoline. One wonders what other energy inputs may be involved (e.g. natural gas) in this process. This seems horribly inefficient, and unless they implement some kind of all-inclusive and permanent CCS, will have extravagent well (or mine) to wheel CO2 emissions.

Better use of coal: make electricity.
Best use of coal: leave it in the ground.


I was reading where Iraq just burns off their natural gas, as do many other countries. If you could convert all that natural gas being burned to liquid fuels for transport, it would improve things immensely.

Account Deleted

Lyons,you are correct!But The CCS tec will need more energy what means more and more coal will be burn and turn into electricity.

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