SOURCE: Zeus Development Corporation

Zeus Development Corp

March 22, 2011 11:30 ET

Zeus' Fifth Conference on UCG Prepares to Discuss Building Momentum for Underground Coal Gasification, Including Ten New Project Announcements

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - March 22, 2011) - Ten new prospective underground coal gasification (UCG) projects in Australia, Europe, Asia and the Americas have been announced since Zeus' 2010 UCG Conference. These developments and the broader industry growth will be discussed this May 24-25 at UCG 2011 Conference in The Woodlands, Texas. Developers are broadening the search for coal too deep to mine but shallow enough that it can be gasified in situ for power generation or refined into fuels and chemicals. 

UCG operators bore holes into coal reserves to pump oxygen to partially oxidize the coal without having to haul it to the surface. The end product, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide called synthesis gas, is pumped to a surface power plant or refinery to be converted into purified fuels and chemicals. 

"Developers from several pilot projects have publicized their operational and economic success," said Chris Cothran, syngas analyst at Zeus Development Corp, an energy researcher and publisher of the Zeus Syngas Refining Report and databases. "They are now using their knowledge to expand globally. While it may be too early to call the technology commercial, we're certainly getting closer."

Successful pilot demonstrations in Australia have motivated at least three developers -- Clean Global Energy, Carbon Energy, and Linc Energy -- to expand their horizons. Clean Global Energy is pursuing projects in China, India and the United States. Carbon Energy is reported to be developing projects in Australia and Chile, while Linc Energy is active in India, the U.K., Mongolia, Vietnam and North America.

Other companies outside of Australia are following suit. In the United States, Alaska Native corporation Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI) and Houston-based Laurus Energy, for example, have formed a venture to commercialize syngas from CIRI-owned coal reserves on the west side of Cook Inlet. The UCG syngas will provide an alternative to natural gas, which is in short supply in Southcentral Alaska.

"UCG is changing the way we think about coal and allows us to harness its power in a responsible, economic and environmentally sound way," Ethan Schutt, CIRI's senior vice president of Land and Energy Development, said.

More information about UCG 2011: Zeus' Fifth Conference on Underground Coal Gasification can be obtained online at http://www.zeuslibrary.com/UCG2011 or by contacting Christina Miller, conference manager (713-952-9525, cmiller@zeuslibrary.com). 

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