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GE and Shenhua open coal gasification joint venture in China

GE announced the opening of GE Shenhua Gasification Technology Company Ltd., a 50:50 joint venture with Shenhua Group to advance the development and deployment of “cleaner coal” technology solutions in China.

GBI report: Asia-Pacific to be the leading coal-producing region
A new report from GBI Research forecasts that the Asia-Pacific region will become the leading coal-producing region in the future, led by China.
The new report states that China is Asia’s main coal-producing force, not only being the largest coal-producing country in the Asia-Pacific region, but also the largest in the world.
The region’s coal industry comprises China, India, Australia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Vietnam and New Zealand. China contributed 68% towards the region’s total coal production in 2011.
At 14%, China holds the most coal reserves in the region, the majority of these reserves are concentrated in the provinces of Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Shandong, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu and Ningxia. With the abundance of coal deposits across several provinces in the country, China’s role as the world’s coal production giant is set to continue, with many planned exploration projects fixed for the next decade, according to the report.
During this decade, Asia-Pacific’s coal production is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.1%, to reach approximately 7 billion metric tons by 2020.

The new company combines GE’s expertise in industrial gasification technologies with Shenhua’s expertise in coal gasification and coal-fired power generation. The JV will sell industrial gasification technology licenses in China, conduct research and development to improve cost and performance of commercial-scale gasification and Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) solutions and work to advance to distribution of commercial-scale IGCC.

Gasification converts coal into a synthesis gas (or syngas) that can then be used to produce chemicals or other products. Gasification technology has become a critical tool in the expansion of the Chinese economy, allowing a wide variety of industrial products and fuels to be created from low-cost abundant coal resources. With more than 50 licensed facilities in China, GE’s gasification technology is one of the most widely deployed in the industry.

Shenhua is one of the world’s largest coal and energy companies, with integrated coal production, power generation, railway, port and shipping infrastructure. Shenhua also has a national role in the development of new coal-related technologies such as coal-to-liquids and carbon sequestration.

The company established the first demonstration projects for direct coal liquefaction, coal-to-olefins (MTO) and coal-to-polypropylene (MTP), utilizing gasification technology. Through these efforts, the company has built significant expertise in the development of coal-to-chemicals facilities and in the operation of coal gasification systems over a range of technology configurations. Shenhua also has developed deep expertise in carbon utilization and management through CCS research and development.

Both GE and Shenhua have worked together for years in China on important projects, including the Shenhua Baotou coal-to-olefins facility, which uses GE’s gasification technology. The collaboration will create a leading gasification technology business in China with significant local presence, focus, resources and expertise.

—Wang Xiaolin, deputy general manager of Shenhua Group

The new JV will further strengthen GE and Shenhua’s existing relationship. Both sides will work together to generate new advanced gasification technology and business solutions, to better serve existing customers as well as explore new business opportunities.

This is not a market access in exchange for technology deal. Instead, this will be a two-way technology win, with both GE and Shenhua benefiting from each other’s expertise.

—Jack Wen, GE Energy China CEO



China, (like USA, Australia, Russia and a few other countries) has huge coal reserves that could be used to produce Gas, Chemicals and liquid fuels.

This is one more of the 50 + facilities being built and/or in operation required to feed a fast growing economy and the factories of the world.

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