Synthesis Energy Systems Plans Coal-to-Methanol Project in China
Houston-based energy and technology company has signed a project
development agreement with a multinational chemical company to conduct
feasibility studies and draft plans for a coal-to-methanol gasification
plant in China.
Synthesis Energy Systems, the Houston firm,
announced on Nov. 26 that the plant would support the unnamed chemical
company's facilities in China and address the region's increased demand
for clean petrochemical feedstocks.
"SES is proud to add
this large industrial multinational player to its
strategic partners, which includes the Gas Technology Institute, CONSOL
Energy and AEI. These companies are committed to sustainable clean
energy solutions through the use of low-cost and environmentally
responsible modern U-GAS(r) coal gasification technology," said SES
president and CEO Tim Vail.
plant will use SES' exclusive U-GAS(r) technology to
convert China's coal reserves into a synthesis gas ("syngas"), composed
primarily of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The syngas can be used as a
basic building block in the petrochemical and refining industries. The
syngas would then be refined into methanol, an organic raw commodity
widely used in manufacturing chemical products including plastics,
paints, and construction materials. The capacity of this plant would be
similar in size to SES' two other coal-to-chemical projects currently
under way in China.
"The global methanol market is expanding, especially in China where the
demand for methanol as a transportation fuel has grown at a particularly
fast pace during the past decade," said Vail.
According to a China Methanol Industry Forecast by C&G
Consulting, China's methanol market reached approximately 8.2 million
metric tons in 2006.
"Both production and demand for methanol are expected to continue to
grow. We believe this proposed project, along with our three other
coal-to-chemical projects in China, should play an important role in
strengthening China's energy security while minimizing the impact on
environment," Vail added.
U-GAS(r) technology produces much lower levels of regulated
emissions, including sulfur oxides, nitrous oxides and particulates
than conventional coal combustion plants. It also allows for the
low-cost capture of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.
Under the agreement, SES will conduct feasibility studies to
the optimum site for the construction of the proposed plant in order to
ensure adequate coal supply, coal and methanol transport costs and the
permitting process. Subject to a successful plant-site designation, SES
will conduct additional scoping work that will include further
definition of project design, schedules and costs. At that point,
further negotiation of a definitive agreement by both parties would be
undertaken before initiating the project.
U-GAS(r) technology, which its licenses from the Gas Technology
Institute, is designed to turn high-ash coals and waste coal products
into high-value synthesis gas for use in chemical applications or as a
feedstock for producing transportation fuels.
For more information on SES, visit: http://www.synthesisenergy.com.