UCG Retreats Under the Sea  

Posted by Big Gav in , , , ,

I noted a little while back that UCG is losing out to CSM in Queensland. The SMH reports that a company is considering the idea of performing UCG (underground coal gasification - a coal to liquids process) on offshore coal deposits in New South Wales - Coal trial submerged in debate. Usually I'm all for ocean energy, but this isn't what I've got in mind.

UNTAPPED coal reserves under the Pacific Ocean could provide enough energy to power every house in NSW for about 13,000 years, a company that wants to explore a massive area under the seabed says. Energie Future is seeking leave to conduct tests under 5940 quare kilometres of the ocean floor between Newcastle and Wollongong.

If successful, the company would be the first in the world to use coal gasification - extreme heat to turn underground coal into gas - under the ocean floor.

The proposal has outraged Greens MP Lee Rhiannon, who said that even the exploratory work, centring on seismic testing, would endanger whales and other marine life. It would almost be inevitable that the Government would grant a mining licence to a company that had spent hundreds of millions of dollars on mining exploration, she said.

The MP, who is organising a protest at Bondi on Friday, said there was a "real threat of unforseen damage to the seabed and pollution and degradation to our coastal waters and beaches. Mining always follows exploration if the mining company wishes it, so this proposal should be ruled out now. The answer to climate change is investing in proven sustainable solutions like solar energy, not dangerous experiments that threaten our oceans and beaches," she said.

1 comments

Anonymous   says 11:40 AM

Yes ... similiar plans have been on the drawing board for producing UCG from coal under the North Sea.

The mind boogles at the infrastructure that would be needed to make this a reality.

Still it is worth keeping up to date on possible/probable long term future direction of UCG. I note that that the UCG Patnership mentions a project in the Firth of forth and does reference discussions regarding the that the best place to start a UCG project could well end up being near shore or at shore. Thankyou for posting the above.

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