Methane plant reduces emissions

GE Energy has developed a new technology that can convert waste gas into much needed electricity, the company's managing director Tim Rourke told MINING DAILY.

GE Energy has developed a new technology that can convert waste gas into much needed electricity, the company’s Australian and New Zealand managing director Tim Rourke told MINING DAILY.

The company has implemented the technology into its recently commissioned, certified coal mine methane power plant in Queensland.

Coal mine methane is just one application of this leading edge technology,” Rourke said.

“We are using it around the world for all sorts of bio gasses — from the dairy industry through to breweries or land fill. If all of the methane from existing Australian coal mines was converted to electricity, we would reduce about 15 million tons of greenhouse gasses per year and generate enough electricity to power 600,000 homes.”

The Moranbah North coal mine methane project will save 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year.

“For GE, this project demonstrates that customers recognize the value gained from using high-tech, cost-effective gas engines for power generation,” Rourke said.

“For the country overall, the project represents another bold effort to help Australia aggressively curtail its greenhouse gas emissions levels.”

The 15-engine, 45.6- megawatt power plant, contracted by Energy Developments, is designed to contribute to the country’s energy development goals and is accredited under the New South Wales Government Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme.

“This project further demonstrates the commitment by carbon abatement companies like Energy Developments in conjunction with the Australian coal mining industry to leverage advanced technology to use an available source of energy while helping to reduce our mining operations’ environmental impacts,” Energy Developments’ managing director Greg Pritchard said.

Energy Developments installed 15 of GE Energy’s 3-megawatt, gas engine units at Anglo Coal’s Moranbah North mine in Queensland, 1,117 kilometers north of Brisbane. Anglo Coal is one of Australia’s largest coal producers. Energy Developments will be selling the plant’s 45.6-MW output to the national electricity grid.

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