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Study reduces time, costs for coal gasification plants in Wyo

Study reduces time, costs for coal gasification plants in Wyo

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Study reduces time, costs for coal gasification plants in Wyo
A report by Wyoming PBS News partner, Wyoming Business Report

By Wyoming Business Report Staff

CASPER - Companies considering building coal gasification or natural gas conversion projects in Wyoming now have a valuable tool to help determine the feasibility of such projects in the state, as well as reduce their initial research time and cost.

The "Feasibility of Siting Coal Gasification and Synfuels Plants in Wyoming" study is an extensive and highly technical report that creates feasibility models for coal gasification and natural gas conversion plants in the state and discusses the potential economic viability of those projects.

An executive summary discussing details and utilization of the models is now available on the Wyoming Business Council website at http://www.wyomingbusiness.org/program/commercial-scale-gasification-based-/5729, or by contacting the State Energy Office at 307.777.2824.

Organizations interested in previewing the models may make arrangements through the Wyoming Business Council. Specific modeling software and training are required to interpret the report and its results.

Bob Jensen, Wyoming Business Council CEO, said the models have the potential to encourage the development of value-added products to Wyoming's coal and natural gas resources while saving companies an estimated $500,000 to $1 million in pre-FEED, or front end engineering and design, costs.

"This report helps us as a state, as well as companies interested in building gasification or conversion projects here, to understand the economic potential of producing higher value products from Wyoming's coal and natural gas resources," said Jensen.

"The result will allow companies that are serious about gasification projects in Wyoming to reduce their evaluation time and costs. We hope this will encourage companies to consider these types of plants here, ultimately adding value to our coal and natural gas resources in the state," he noted

Richard Boardman, energy security initiative lead at the Idaho National Laboratory, said, "While there has been a surge of interest in producing synthetic fuels in the U.S., the main barrier has been the technical and economic risk associated with these plants since only a few have been built anywhere in the world, and they are very large and complex.

"A single plant is comparable to putting a power plant, a chemical synthesis plant, and a refinery together in one location. These models not only verify that it is economically feasible to produce transportation fuels from coal and natural gas, they are useful tools for preliminary design and engineering, regulatory permitting, and they can help project developers understand the economic sensitivity of construction and operating costs," Boardman said.
The report was a collaborative effort by the Wyoming Business Council, the Idaho National Laboratory, the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Geological Survey.
For more information, visit www.wyomingbusiness.org.

Wyoming Business Report