To obtain information to inform the design for a potential commercial facility, LCK proposes to construct, operate and decommission an in situ gasification (ISG) demonstration plant. This will involve the construction of an above ground plant (and associated service infrastructure) and the establishment of a below ground single ISG gasifier chamber. The demonstration plant would be commissioned and operated for a short period (approximately 2-3 months) to produce syngas, so that the technical and environmental performance of the process can be analysed.
The information gained from the Demonstration will be used in LCK’s feasibility studies for the commercial phase of the project. [Commercial Project]
For the Demonstration Project, the ISG configuration will consist of two wells drilled into a deep coal seam over 500m below the surface, one for an inlet well for the addition of air and water, and the other for the outlet well for the extraction of synthesis gas (syngas). A combination of one horizontal well and one vertical well will be used for the demonstration plant gasifier to create a direct linked system in which the two wells meet. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking), a well stimulation technique in which rock is fractured by a pressurised liquid, will not be used to connect the inlet and outlet wells.
Learn more about ISG and its benefits [ABOUT ISG]
The inlet and outlet wells have been designed to meet international petroleum industry standards for the pressures, temperatures, operational stresses and loads that will occur during operation of the gasifier.
The Demonstration Project is regulated as an exploration activity under the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 and as an exploration activity the syngas produced is unable to be sold for commercial use, and will therefore be treated on site in a thermal oxidiser as part of the process.
Looking south at the proposed demonstration plant site
Benefits of Demonstration Plant
The demonstration project has a number of potential benefits and these include:
increased understanding of the cultural heritage aspects of the region (in collaboration with the traditional owners);
direct economic benefits to the Leigh Creek and Copley townships resulting from supply of fuel, food, accommodation and other services during the demonstration plant project;
direct economic benefit via payments to local construction companies;
employment opportunities for local people during various phases of the project;
increased understanding of the water, air, fauna and flora of the region.
Schematic view of the Demonstration ISG Project