Independent Review of Underground Coal Gasification - Report

An independent examination of the issues and evidence surrounding Underground Coal Gasification.

Annex 3: UCG Operations and Sites

UCG operations have been undertaken in the following locations/cases (more or less in chronological order):

Time and timescale Name of site, Location, country Operator Comment, weblink, ref
From 1912, Northumbria;
Newman Spinney/Bayton - 1949/50; 1958/9),
Northumbria; Newman Spinney/Bayton - 1949/50; 1958/9), Gibb and Partners NS trial was in
Gorgas Creek, Alabama , USA US Bureau of Mines Stephens, et al. 1985
1920s-50s Russia/Uzbekistan/Ukraine/Azerbaijan) , including Yuzhno-Abinskaya gasification plant at Kuzbass, Siberia Linc Energy Test and production sites, ongoing since 1955. Gasification of a bituminous coal in Siberia at Kemerovo, 1.3-3.9m thick. Walker 1999.
1961 to date Yerostigaz plant, Angren, Uzbekistan

Linc Energy

Lignites between 130-350 m depth. Producing since 1961; 1M cu m/d of syngas
1973-79 sequentially; H4 for longest 77-9. Hanna 1, 2, 3, 4 , (also some references to Rocky Mountain 1,2, 3..) Wyoming, USA Laramie Energy Technology Center/ USDOE

Stephens, et al., 1985, Boysen et al 1990 and Creedy et al 2001.

Generally c 100m depth operations in this part of Rockies.

1976-79 sequentially Hoe Creek 1,2,3 - Campbell County, Wyoming, USA Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ( LLNL) / USDOE Wang, F.T, et al., 1982
Stephens, et al. 1985

( FoE quote 82-4)
Purdue 1982-85

Thulin, Belgium

Belgian/German JV
Duration- 12 days

Institut pour le Development de la Gazeification Souterraine, Belgium

Trial at > 860m; thin seam at 1000m. High CV gas Chandelle, V, 1986, Overview About Thulin Field Test, Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual Underground Coal Gasification Symposium, DOE/FE/60922-H1.
1979 Pricetown, West Virginia, USA Morgantown Energy Technology Center/ USDOE Stephens et al., 1985a
1979 Rawlins 1, 2 - Wyoming, USA Gulf Research and Development Company/ USDOE Stephens et al., 1985a
1985 - 86
Purdue 1983-1984
Initially at Brauy-en-Artois, and later at La Haute Deule, France

75 days. Production well plugged by particulates and tar, terminating the tests.

Groupe d'Etude de la Gazeification Souterraine, France

Coal seam depth 880 m

Gadelle, C., et al., 1985, Status of French UCG Field Test at La Haute Deule, Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Underground Coal Gasification Symposium, DOE/METC-85/6028 (DE85013720).

1983 - 2014 Leigh Creek, South Australia 1983 - prefeasibility for South Australia Department of Mines and Energy 1985 - Golder Associates report of viability of UCG at Leigh Creek 2014 - Australian Minerals Consultants ( AMC) report of feasibility. Mothballing of Port Augusta power plant connected to fate of UCG/mine projects

(Purdue 1981-82)

Centralia Tono A, B - Washington, USA
Washington Irrigation and Development Company ( WIDCO) coal mine
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ( LLNL) /Gas Research Institute (now the Gas Technology Institute)/ USDOE / Washington Power Company / Pacific Power & Light / Sandia National Laboratory and Radian Corporation Stephens, et al., 1985
1987/8 Rocky Mountain 1, 2, Carbon County, Wyoming, USA US Dept of Energy

Late 1980s - 2004
(Purdue 1980 - present)

China SinoCoking Coal and Coke Chemical Industries, Inc.
(, a Florida corporation, located in Pingdingshan, Henan Province, China. UCG centre at China Univ. of Mining and Technology, Beijing.

>15 trials have already occurred there.

1994 Huntly West, Huntly Coal Basin, New Zealand Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd With US technical assisitance Since 2005, with Ergo Exergy Technologies Inc
Pre feasibility studies undertaken during 2008 and 2009.

BGS (1993- 1998)

El Tremedal, Tereul Spain A Spanish, UK, Belgian JV supported by EU using CRIP

Chosen on the grounds of its geological suitability, coal seam depth (550m- 700m) and the availability of extensive borehole data.

1999 GAIL, Rajasthan, India Gail India in co-operation with the State Government and Ergo Exergy
Lignite seams at depths of between 230m and 900m.

Purdue: 1990 - 2015?

Hopeland, nr Chinchilla, Qld, Australia

Linc Energy (see report text here, Chap3. And QISP etc)

But note also….

The Chinchilla site had been idle after April 2003. After operating the site and leading the project since its conception, Ergo Exergy terminated arrangements to provide ε UCG™ technology to Australian company Linc Energy Ltd in September 2006 with the purpose of concentrating on other active commercial UCG projects worldwide.

Nine process wells, producing gas from a 10 metre-thick coal seam at a depth of 140m. Intermittent developmental work.

Walker et al (2001)

2007-2015 Majuba, UCG Project, Mpumalanga, South Africa

Eskom Holdings Ltd

Permian age coals at c 280m depth
2007-date (intermittent) Walanchabi City, China ENN Group Co Ltd One of >16, possibly 20 trials in China since 1990
2007 Stone Horne Ridge, Southern Alaska

Laurus Energy, Cook Inlet Region Inc. ( CIRI), a Native American owned corporation in Alaska, and Ergo Exergy Technologies Inc

2007/8 Thar project, Block III in the East of Sindh Province, Pakistan

Cougar Energy UK (47.8% owned by Cougar Energy Limited, Australia).

Coal seams of varying thickness from 8m to 23m, at depths ranging from 115m to 205m.
2008-12 Bloodwood Creek, Dalby, Queensland, Australia Carbon Energy
Effective operation for 20 months. See Mallett (2015)
2008 Japan Nine universities and research institutions, including Gunma University, Hokkaido University and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science, an d a consortium of 12 companies plan to build a test facility in a domestic mine. The University of Tokyo has undertaken technical and economic studies of UCG, and maintains a watching brief on behalf of NEDO. Japanese coal companies are interested in the technology as a possible export opportunity.
2009 - 2011 (intermittent) Swan Hills ISCG, Alberta, Canada

Swan Hills Synfuels

(some development work for Clean Fuels in 2012-14)

2009 Mulpun Project in Chile - current status unclear.

Carbon Energy

(An environment permit for process characterisation/design plan etc was prepared)
Was a 2 m seam pre-feasibility study 103Mt of coal.
Post 2010-14 Parkland County, Alberta and Nova Scotia Laurus Energy Currently preparing several UCG power projects in Alberta and Nova Scotia.
2010/11 - 2014 (intermittent) Kingaroy, Tarong Coal Basin, Queensland, Australia

Cougar Energy

Ergo Exergy 's Technologies Inc.

Under development since 2006, ignition of the underground gasifier at Kingaroy was initiated and first gas produced on 15 March 2010.

The gasification process targets two seams ranging from 130m to 300m in depth and 2m to 17m in thickness.
2011-date (testing/intermittent) Dobrudzha/Varna, Bulgaria Overgas Inc Research&Demo project EU-co-funded development with CCS modelling/testing
c.2011 -2? Mongolia Hebei Xin'ao Group, Mongolia 100,000 tpa. Methanol
2007 project initiated in 1940s mine complex, 2009 field trial; 2+ years demonst-rator project 2011-14. New COGAR and TOPS EU projects 2013-16 Barbara, Mikołow, Poland. Also Bobreck, Piast, Belchatow, Poland

"Barbara Project" Largely technical focus until 2013. Now considering "safety and environmental aspects" No data yet available.

Reports of studies on tests and operations from 1960s to 2007. Papers 2011 Stanczyk, K; Dubinski, J etc.

Central Mining Institute, Clean Coal Technology Centre, Katowice University leadership and technical analyses.,%20Kegworth,%2015-05-14,%20(pdf%20versions)/K%20Kapusta,%20CMI,%20Kegworth,%2015-05-14.pdf

Also HUGE/HUGE2 EU funded programme on Hydrogen oriented UCG demonstrations.


Kaitha coal block, Ramgarh District, India

Abhijeet Group, India, AE Coal Technologies Ltd, Ergo Exergy


Other sites referred to in literature and marketing materials - Claromeco, Argentina; Ukraine - Donbass Coal field no real details; Kemerovo, Siberia. Also a range of modelling work, sometimes based on bores and seismic work in some locations - e.g. Ergo Exergy Montreal 1993. Chinese sites appear many but details are scant. See, for one example in Fenghuangshan, in 2012.

In 2014 it was also reported that Linc was planning a UCG operation in Tanzania.


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