Friday, 27 November 2009

Syngas in hi-tech link for Clinton project

Adelaide Advertiser
Thursday 26/11/2009 Page: 52

Syngas has teamed with global technology providers Rentech and General Electric to progress South Australia's $3 billion coal-biomass-to-diesel Clinton project. US fuel company Rentech came on board this week to provide preliminary engineering services at the proposed site, approximately 120km northwest of Adelaide. Rentech, which also is helping Beach Petroleum advance its unconventional gas reserves in the Cooper Basin, will provide its Fischer-Tropsch fuels production technology for the project in the first quarter of next year.

The current agreement is to review the use of Rentech's FT technology for the production of ultra-clean synthetic transportation fuels from synthesis gas derived from fossil and biomass resources. The Fischer-Tropsch process is used to produce a synthetic petroleum substitute, typically from coal, natural gas or biomass, for use as synthetic lubrication oil or as synthetic fuel. The preliminary review could lead to a licensing agreement with Rentech for its FT technology, Syngas executive director Merrill Gray said.

"This agreement with Rentech is a further step forward in terms of our strategy of securing access to proven technology providers like GE and Siemens," she said Syngas already has an exclusive arrangement with General Electric Company and General Electric International Inc for the supply of gas and steam turbines and is in talks with drying technology and gas conditioning technology providers. Siemens completed a feasibility study at the site in August. "It is a staged and measured process.

Our bankable feasibility study is underway until 2012. We have teamed with established global technology providers and are understanding the regulatory approval processes that will need to be completed," Ms Gray said. The Clinton facility is expected to produce 200 million barrels of oil oOver its 40-year life. The Perth-based company will relocate to Adelaide by next March.