The Alberta Government has signed a Letter of Intent with Swan Hills Synfuels for an in-situ coal gasification project with CCS

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The project will use an in-situ coal gasification (ISCG) process to access coal seams that have traditionally been considered too deep to mine. The coal seams, located about 1,400 metres beneath the earth’s surface, will be accessed through wells that are similar to conventional oil and gas wells. The ISCG wells will be used to convert the coal underground in its original seam into syngas.

The syngas will be piped to the Whitecourt area to fuel new high-efficiency combined cycle power generation for Alberta’s electricity market. It will provide about 300 MW of generation capacity.

The CO2 created during the gasification process will be captured and used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in the Swan Hills area.

The province will invest $285 million in the Swan Hills project, from its $2 billion Carbon Capture and Storage Fund. Construction is expected to begin in 2011 with carbon capture scheduled to start by 2015.

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