January 28, 2011
Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd has received statutory 'Resource Consents' to begin its proposed εUCG™ project in Huntly, on the North Island of New Zealand. The resource consents, received from 'Environment Waikato,' represent the culmination of more than three years of detailed investigations and analysis by Solid Energy and its expert technical partners. The consents allow for ignition and operation of the pilot or demonstration stage of the project, before planned expansion to commercial UCG syngas production.
Solid Energy submitted its Assessment of Environmental Effects and resource consent applications in June 2010, following extensive investigations into the feasibility and sustainability of the project. The successful award of these consents in a relatively short period of time, is testament to the robust technical analysis and planning undertaken by Solid Energy and its εUCG™ technology partner, Ergo Exergy, during the last three years.
Following ignition, which is expected in the coming months, Solid Energy plans to operate the pilot plant for up to two years, whilst gathering and analysing data from the operation. The technical and environmental performance data collected during the trial will then be used for detailed design of the planned commercial gas production facility. Eventually the gas may be used for electricity generation, providing a significantly reduced environmental footprint compared with traditional methods of coal-fired generation.