The Chinchilla site has been idle since April 2003. After operating the site and leading the project since its conception, Ergo Exergy terminated arrangements to provide εUCG™ technology to Australian company Linc Energy Ltd in September 2006 with the purpose of concentrating on the active commercial UCG projects worldwide.
The project at Chinchilla was being developed by Linc Energy Ltd. Ergo Exergy provided εUCG™ technology for the project and designed and operated the gas production plant.
The project was conceived as an εUCG -IGCC plant. Gas production started on December 26, 1999, and since then the plant produced gas continuously for 30 months, with a maximum capacity approaching about 80,000 Nm3/h. Approximately 35,000 tonnes of coal were gasified during this time, and 100% availability of gas production had been demonstrated.
The εUCG facility at Chinchilla used air injection, producing gas of about 5.0 MJ/Nm3 LHV at a pressure of 110 kPa and a temperature of 300o C. It included nine process wells, producing gas from a 10 meter-thick coal seam at a depth of 140 meters. The process displayed a high efficiency and consistency in providing gas of both a stable quality and quantity. The cost of the syngas produced proved to be comparable (on a unit of energy basis) with the very low cost of thermal coal in the Australian market.
Groundwater quality at Chinchilla was closely monitored using a number of monitoring holes and by April 2003, some 20 monitoring holes were installed at strategic locations around the underground gasifier. According to the detailed results of the monitoring program, the εUCG demonstrated exceptional environmental performance.
The environmental performance of the operation prior to September 2006 was in full compliance with the Project Environmental Management Plan and the regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (Queensland).