2013 Minchener Challenges and opportunities for coal gasification in developing countries
Coal gasification for chemicals, gaseous and liquid fuels production can fulfil an important strategic need in those developing countries where coal is the primary fuel source and oil and gas energy security is an issue. At the same time, the establishment of major projects in such countries can be problematical for a number of technical and economic reasons, although it is encouraging that some projects appear to be moving forward. There are two developing countries where coal conversion projects to produce chemicals, gaseous and liquid fuels have been taken forward strongly. The first isSouth Africa, which established the world’s only commercial-scale coal-to-liquids and coal-to-chemicals facilities at Secunda and Sasolburg respectively. The other is China, where there is a major gasification-based coal conversion development and deployment programme that is set to become a significant, large-scale commercial element in the nation’s energy development plans. This will provide further major opportunities for the deployment of large-scale coal gasification technologies,various syngas conversion units and catalysts for the subsequent production of the required products.The role of China is likely to be critical in the dissemination of such technologies to other developing countries as it can not only provide the technical expertise but also financially underpin such projects,including the associated infrastructure needs.