October 22, 2010
In conjunction with their UCG technology provider, Ergo Exergy Technologies Inc. of Canada, Solid Energy New Zealand Limited has successfully completed εUCG™ cold testing at their proposed εUCG™ project site in Huntly, New Zealand.
An extensive program of site characterisation was initiated on the site at the beginning of the year. Thorough characterisation of the site represents an integral phase of any εUCG™ project development. The work involves a significant program of field investigations to determine the geological, hydrogeological and rock mechanic aspects of the site. The information gathered during this phase will be used to guide and inform the design and construction of the UCG plant and monitoring systems.
The site characterisation program involves specific εUCG™ Cold Testing to help determine suitable parameters for the plant's operation. Completion of these tests represents a significant achievement for Solid Energy's Huntly UCG project, the results of which verify the applicability of Ergo Exergy's εUCG™ technology to the target coal seam. Furthermore, the testing provides working technical data on the underground system to enable finalisation of detailed equipment and operational design for the subsequent stages of the project.
Since gaining board approval for the UCG project late last year, Solid Energy has achieved significant progress on developing the project in New Zealand's North Island. As well as completing the εUCG™ Cold Tests, the first three process wells have been completed, along with a number of environmental and process monitoring wells. In addition, much of the required surface infrastructure has already been delivered to site, including air compressors, pumps and pipe-work.
Following final construction and commissioning of the pilot plant and equipment, ignition of the gasifier and production of syngas are expected to commence in early 2011.