Illawarra to house methane mines

Apex Energy has submitted plans to develop methane gas projects in coal seams along the Illawarra escarpment to the New South Wales Department of Planning.

Apex Energy has submitted plans to develop methane gas projects in coal seams along the Illawarra escarpment to the New South Wales Department of Planning.The miner is seeking to drill 15 coal seam gas exploration wells at locations along the escarpment, from Helensburgh in the north, to Wollongong in the south.

According to the company, the aim is to mine enough methane gas to power a 400 megawatt power station.

Apex Energy director Alen Thomas, said the company has been through an extensive consultation process with government agencies, community and environment groups.

“We have had discussions with all of the land holders where we might be seeking to drill and, it’s just ongoing at the moment,” he said.

The wells would drill down into former coal mines deep below the surface to extract commercial quantities of methane gas.

“We’ve dealt over the past four years in bringing this all together with the Department of Planning and Wollongong City Council; the Department of Environment, Water and Energy; Primary Industry; the Roads and Traffic Authority and Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales,” Thomas said.

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