The World CTL 2012 India Summit will highlight India’s active project development in coal and petroleum coke (petcoke) conversion to high-value fuels and chemicals, World CTL president Serge Périneau tells Mining Weekly.
The summit, from December 11 to 13 in New Delhi, will enable the deepening of relationships between India-based and international stakeholders as India-based project developers will have the opportunity to engage with more technology providers and equipment suppliers.
Several India-based companies will also have the opportunity to network with potential customers in providing them with services and equipment.
“In our industry, improvements are slow to be conceived and achieved, rather than experiencing continual breakthroughs. Each conference is an opportunity for participants to discover technology improvements, such as higher capacity-to-size ratios, better yields and lower environmental footprints,” says Périneau.
Since the World CTL series’ inception in 2008, the organisers have noticed that about 70% of participants are from the region in which the meeting or conference is hosted.
This year, the response by Indian authorities and companies has been constructive and participative, with several leading foreign companies also taking part, says Périneau.
India’s federal Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Srikant Jena will open the summit with an address on the role of coal and petcoke conversion in India’s energy security.
India currently imports the majority of its crude oil requirements and can, by diversifying into coal-to-liquids (CTL), capitalise on the strong demand for liquid fuels and protect the country from volatile crude oil prices, says India’s federal Coal Minister Shriprakash Jaiswal.
About 66% of India’s power generation is coal based and coal meets about 52% of primary commercial energy needs in the country, says State-owned coal miner Coal India.
The three-day summit will feature a keynote address from India-based Jindal Steel & Power chairperson and MD Naveen Jindal on the industrial perspective on CTL. The company’s CTL executive director Jona Pillay will also discuss Jindal Steel & Power’s CTL projects and the use of synthesis gas (syngas) for steel production.
Other major conversion projects to be featured at the summit include those of India-based private-sector enterprise Reliance Industries.
Reliance Industries senior VP Thomas Mathew will discuss its Jamnagar Refinery (Gujarat) coal- and petcoke-to-products project.
A challenge facing the industry is that the commissioning of a coal-conversion plant requires a significant lead time, with a CTL project taking more than five years from conception to commissioning.
This is because the capital expenditure amounts to several billion dollars or euros and investment decisions can only be taken after consideration, which includes the project environmental impact – a major concern for the industry and the community.
An environmental challenge of conver- sion processes include dealing with the significant amount of carbon dioxide produced, using methods such as carbon capture and storage.
Coal-to-fertiliser projects, including the Talcher fertiliser project, located about 126 km from Bhubaneswar, will be highlighted by India-based fertiliser producer Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers technical director CMT Britto.
In India, agriculture contributes to about one-fifth of total gross domestic product, accounts for about 10% of the total export earnings and provides raw material to a large number of industries.
As a result, fertiliser production is important. India is the third-largest producer and consumer of fertilisers in the world, after China and the US, states the Indian government.
India consumes urea, diammonium phosphate, muriate of potash fertiliser and Single Super phosphate fertilisers and is self-sufficient in respect of urea and about 90% self-sufficient with regard to diammonium phosphate.
Indian coal-to-fertiliser production projects include the Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers’ Talcher project, which is expected to generate about one-million tons a year of urea through the natural gas production of ammonia, for use in fertiliser production.
The National-Fertilizers-owned gasification-to-ammonia plant in Panipat, Haryana, will be visited on the last day of the summit.
Visitors will see the gasification unit and the chemical process that converts syngas to fertiliser, says Périneau, who adds that the plant is one of the largest ammonia plants using gasification in the world. It is currently fed by fuel oil; however, this will be replaced with natural gas in December, to illustrate the versatility of gasification, which is the first step in the process of producing syngas from carbon-based feedstock.
SA at Summit
It is too early to say which companies will attend, as the large majority of participants register in the month preceding the conference, says Périneau.
However, in terms of South Africa, Sasol, which is a key stakeholder in coal conversion, participates in the summit as a member of the advisory board.
CTL is commercially operated in South Africa by Sasol, which operates a 160 000 bl/d CTL complex in Secunda, consisting of two production units – the Sasol II and the Sasol III.
South African organisations, such as the University of the Witwatersrand’s Centre of Material and Process Synthesis (Comps), a research and engineering solutions group, and Chinese and South African joint venture CTL company Clean Coal Technology, have also presented at past summits.
A speaker at the World CTL 2011, in Paris, Sasol Technology executive director Rudi Heydenrich, received the 2011 World CTL award, highlights Périneau.
While Sasol is the leading global conversion operator, several projects are under way in China and India and to a lesser degree in Australia, Botswana, Korea, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, the US and Zimbabwe.
Four demonstration plants are in operation in China – China’s State-owned mining and energy company Shenhua’s direct CTL plant in Erdos, Inner Mongolia; Yitai Coal’s indirect CTL plant in Inner Mongolia; Lu’an indirect CTL plant in Shanxi and Jincheng Anthracite Mining Group’s methanol-to-gasoline plant in Shanxi, with capacities from 3 000 bbl/d to 20 000 bbl/d.
The World CTL 2013 Conference for Chemicals, Natural Gas and Liquid Fuels from Coal and Biomass will be held in Shanghai, China between April 16 and 18 and will include a visit to a coal- conversion facility.
Other Summit Highlights
Environmental issues, the conversion processes of syngas to products and other conversion processes will also be discussed at the summit.
Participants attending the summit will be updated on the status of projects by project managers. They will also receive information on improvements by research centres, such as the Indian Institute of Petroleum.
Further, technology companies, such as Germany-based Linde and Clariant; US-based oil company ExxonMobil Research and Engineering; as well as catalyst and process companies Denmark-based Haldor Topsoe and Axens France.