Linc to start Polish UCG plan

Singapore-listed Linc Energy is set to start an underground coal gasification (UCG) project in Poland.

Linc revealed on Monday it had received initial approval from the Polish Ministry of the Environment to start a UCG project in the country.

The UCG project will take place within Linc’s coal resource licence area near Krakow and, during the first stage, will see it working closely with Polish regulators, undertake gas production trials and verification of its UCG process.

The company has already carried out coal resource drilling, completed a seismic survey and conducted a detailed evaluation of the coals geological conditions which it said indicated the coal was “very suitable” for UCG operations.

Linc’s own internal evaluation indicates its Polish coal resources could produce roughly 800 billion cubic metres of pipeline gas across the life of its combined potential UCG projects in the country.

“As we commence these initial trials of our well proven and patented UCG process, I believe that UCG will start to change the current energy landscape in Europe through its ability to create gas self-sufficiency in those markets that are currently dependent on imported gas supplies,” Linc chief executive Peter Bond said.

“After all, once Linc Energy takes its Polish UCG operations to a commercial scale, Linc Energy alone could replace 10 billion cubic metres of gas per annum for in excess of 80 years."

Linc said it planned to move some of its existing UCG equipment and gas lab from Chinchilla in Australia to its site in Poland, as well as reuse a significant amount of UCG production equipment, with key items expected to arrive in Poland by the end of the year.

Linc decommissioned its Chinchilla plant last year after 14 years of developing the technology in Australia.

The company decided to switch its focus overseas after stating that it believed the Queensland government had not provided the UCG industry with confidence to support a commercial investment in the Australian state.

UCG is the process by which coal is converted to gas underground through a series of controlled reactions involving heat, pressure, oxygen and water.

The gasification process produces synthesis gas which is rich in hydrogen, carbon monoxide and methane.

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