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WYOMING CLEAN COAL TECHNOLOGY PROJECT MOVES TO FULL-SCALE OPERATIONS

WYOMING CLEAN COAL TECHNOLOGY PROJECT MOVES TO FULL-SCALE OPERATIONS
 WASHINGTON, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The ENCOAL Mild Coal Gasification project, selected for participation in the third round of competition of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Clean Coal Technology Demonstration program, has been given the authorization to proceed with full-scale operation. DOE signed the document -- called a continuation application -- on July 17 signalling that the project had successfully met its pre-operation goals and was ready for a planned two-year test run.
 The transition to the operational phase for the project follows design and construction activities that were completed three months ahead of schedule. The technology is being demonstrated at a newly- constructed facility located at the Triton Coal Company's Buckskin Mine near Gillette, Wyo. The project utilizes a process called LFC, or Liquids from Coal. This technology was initially developed by SGI International of La Jolla, Calif., a team member in the ENCOAL project. Shell Mining Co. enhanced the technology which is now owned by the TEK-KOL Partnership.
 The LFC process treats low-rank coal -- low sulfur coals that have a high moisture content which lowers the heat value of the coal -- to make two products. One product is a solid, the other is a liquid.
 The solid product is a high BTU, low moisture, low sulfur coal that can be burned in plants and meet the strictest emission standards. The liquid product is similar in quality to a low sulfur Number 6 fuel oil that can be used directly as a boiler fuel or as a refinery feedstock to produce a variety of specialty fuels.
 The plant completed a 36-hour test run in June during which it operated at about 70 percent of its capacity. The solid and liquid fuels produced during the test met or exceeded the product specification. When fully operational, the plant will have the capacity to produce 180,000 tons of solid coal-like fuel along with 150,000 barrels of liquids per year. A commercial scale plant would be about 10 times the size of the ENCOAL demonstration facility.
 Two companies have already agreed to purchase the fuels produced at the ENCOAL facility. Wisconsin Power and Light has agreed to buy about 30,000 tons of the solid fuel for use at its coal-fired power plants. TEXPAR Energy Inc. will buy up to 135,000 barrels per year of the liquid fuel that it will market to industries. ENCOAL is also pursuing other markets for the solid product.
 According to James G. Randolph, assistant secretary for fossil energy, the technology being demonstrated at the ENCOAL facility has the potential for wide-spread commercialization both in the United States and abroad. "The process used at the ENCOAL plant is ideally suited for the vast supplies of high moisture, low heating value coals located in the Powder River Basin, the Dakotas, the Gulf Coast and Alaska. It would also be expected to perform equally well with similarly constituted coal found in southeast Asia, the Pacific Rim and eastern Europe," said Randolph.
 The ENCOAL project is sponsored by Shell Mining Company. Recently, Shell announced its plans to sell its mining operations to the Zeigler Coal Holding Company, which will become one the nation's largest coal companies. While details of the agreement have yet to be determined, Zeigler has informed DOE that it is supportive of the Clean Coal Technology project.
 The ENCOAL project is one of 42 projects currently active in DOE's Clean Coal Technology Program which provides government co- funding for up to 50 percent of the total cost of the demonstration project. To date, 17 of the projects are in operation, and three projects have completed their test runs.
 The total cost of the ENCOAL project is $72.6 million, and DOE is providing 50 percent of the funding for the project. The approval of the continuation application means that DOE will provide up to $10.6 million in federal funds during the operations phase of the project.
 -0- 7/29/92
 /CONTACT: Joey Lucas of the U.S. Department of Energy, 202-586-5810/ CO: U.S. Department of Energy; Shell Mining Company ST: Wyoming IN: OIL SU: EXE


DC -- DC017 -- 4786 07/29/92 16:52 EDT
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Date:Jul 29, 1992
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