Coal, New Projects

Company plans 100 MW plant using new coal technology

9 October 2009– Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI) said it is planning a 100 MW power plant in Alaska that would transform coal into gas for electricity, making it one of the first underground coal gasification (UGC) projects in the United States. The project would require a new transmission pipeline that would cost about $100 million, according to company officials.

The plant would use a technology that would drill wells into coal seams then inject oxygen into the wells, causing the coal to combust and become liquid gas. CIRI would then convert the gas into electricity at the new plant and sell the power to buyers such as utilities.

CIRI hopes to make the project official by 2014 pending regulatory approval and feasibility reports.

UGC plants have been built in Australia, South Africa and Eastern Europe. In North America, UGC projects are planned in Wyoming and Alberta, Canada.

CIRI has filed for state permits to begin exploration drilling on its coal fields in December.
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