Scientific report lays ground rules for commercial production of Queensland UCG

scientUNDERGROUND coal gasification (UCG) projects should not be given commercial approval until decommissioning has been proven during the pilot trial, the Independent Scientific Panel (ISP) has recommended.
The ISP findings, which received the  support of the Queensland Government, concluded that UCG “could, in principle, be conducted in a manner that is acceptable socially and environmentally safe when compared to a wide range of other existing resource-using activities” but commercial operations must first demonstrate decommissioning.
Since the report’s release the Australian Syngas Association (ASA) publicised its support of the findings, which included case studies from ASA members Linc Energy and Carbon Energy.
ASA president and Linc chief executive Peter Bond said the announcement brought the attention back to UCG. “UCG is already blossoming as an emerging energy platform in various countries around the world,” he said. Linc constructed the only UCG and gas to liquids demonstration facility in Chinchilla, Queensland and owns the world’s only commercial UCG operation in Uzbekistan which provides syngas to a local power station.
The company has begun preparations to decommission a gasifier at Chinchilla, which Mr Bond described as “very straightforward”.
Although Mr Bond said the company did not agree with some of the content in the report, he stated that the future of UCG was now much brighter and that there was “a definitive path forward for the UCG industry in Queensland”. Syngas can be used for industrial processes such as power generation and producing liquid fuels.