India explores Indonesian coal technology collaboration

Underground Coal Gasification (UCG), which is being developed by the Public Service Agency (BLU) of the Research and Development Center for Mineral and Coal Technology (Puslitbang tekMIRA) Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, has begun to be looked at by the Ministry of Coal of India. .

“Peeyush Kumar as the Technology Director of the Indian Coal Ministry asked Tekmira to collaborate by supervising the development and testing of UCG in two locations in West Bengal and Rahigajt,” as quoted by Antara, Jakarta, Monday, via the official Instagram account @ blu.tekmira.

The implementation of UCG technology is expected to contribute to increasing energy availability, conserving natural resources and reducing energy costs.

This technology is considered suitable for application in Indonesia and India. Moreover, the two countries have similarities in the proportion of fossil energy reserves, namely having coal reserves far greater than oil and gas reserves.

To follow up on this cooperation, Tekmira will conduct an evaluation and make the stages of developing UCG after the Indian Ministry of Coal sends geological data related to the UCG location plan.

The UCG technology method involves gasification underground through two bore wells. One well serves as a medium for air / oxygen injection and the other functions as a production well. This technology can reduce environmental problems, optimize uneconomic coal utilization and make it possible to cover the shortage of energy supply from oil and natural gas (oil and gas).

In detail, this technology will extract and convert coal under the surface into synthesis gas (Syngas) in an on-site manner. This unconventional technology does not require excavating overburden and coal seams first.

Besides being able to be used as fuel for power plants, this unconventional technology also produces syngas for various purposes such as petrochemical industrial chemicals (ammonia, methanol, etc.) and the manufacture of synthetic BBM / BBG and industrial chemicals. UCG also produces carbon dioxide (CO2) as an enhancing oil recovery (EOR) material to increase national oil production. UCG. UCG syngas production costs are cheaper than LNG imports.

UCG technology helps coal companies use deep seam coal, which is not economically feasible to mine. Lower capital and operating costs compared to surface coal gasification. Companies can also reduce their environmental impact as well as reclamation and post-mining costs because they don’t change the landscape.

For information, Puslitbang Tekmira has conducted trials in South Sumatra and in 2019 conducted pre-FSS implementation of UCG technology in East Kalimantan. This study includes elements of geology, hydrology, hydrogeology, geotechnics and economics, to the value of coal reserves. The study continues this year with the construction of eight groundwater monitoring wells and it is hoped that by 2023 the first commercial UCG facility in Indonesia will operate.