Summit will address coal conversion potential in India

25th October 2013 By: Carina Borralho

The World CTX 2013 Summit, which will be held in Mumbai and Jamnagar, India, from December 2 to 4, will feature a practice-based programme on coal and petroleum coke (petcoke) projects worldwide and in India, feedback from commercial coal operations, technological news, economic assessments and environmental solutions, says World CTX Summit pre-sident Serge Perineau.

Coal and petcoke conversion will be discussed in Mumbai during the first two days, with attendees invited to visit the Jamnagar refinery, in Gujarat, owned by Reliance Industries, on the last day. This is the world’s largest crude oil refinery, with a capacity of 1.3-million barrels a day, and is the largest petcoke conversion project ever pursued.

The World CTX 2013 Summit

The World CTX Summit, previously known as The World Coal-to-Liquids (CTL) Summit, is a global platform devoted to the conversion of coal and petcoke into high-value hydro- carbons.

Previous summits, hosted in Europe, North America and Asia, have attracted more than 300 speakers and participants worldwide.

“Most participants usually come from the subcontinent. Last year, some representatives of African companies in India attended the CTL Summit,” Perineau says.

“South Africa is a key country with regard to coal conversion. With regard to chemical mining, it would, therefore, make sense to organise a summit in South Africa. “However, such a summit needs to be economically viable,” says Perineau, adding that South Africa hosts the largest capacities.

Perineau says developments in the coal conversion industry reflect strong growth potential. “Fast development in China and unit construction in India and Korea reflect development potential,” he says.

Meanwhile, Perineau notes that the strongest geographical growth potential in the industry is in China, owing to it being the largest consumer of coal in the world.

Trends and Technology

“New trends and technological advancements in the industry include the creation and implementation of methods that ensure better yields, the use of less space, higher coal conversion capacities and the need to reduce water consumption,” says Perineau.

The summit highlights that the CTL conversion of solid hydrocarbons to high-value hydrocarbons is developing as a key component of energy policies in many countries. “China, South Africa, India and Korea are the most active in this development,” he adds.

South Africa’s energy and chemicals company, Sasol, pioneered making liquid fuel from coal during the apartheid era, owing to international sanctions imposed on South Africa.

The World CTX 2013 Summit addresses the conversion of coal and petcoke to chemicals, natural gas and liquid fuels.

Advisory Board

The World CTX 2013 Summit advisory board comprises Jindal Synfuels’ Subrat Ratho, Sasol executive for new business development Rudi Heydenrich, Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation director of petroleum and geothermy, Dr Patrick Hartley, Fredrick Palmer, senior VP of Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal com- pany, clean energy company DH Energy president and CEO Kaz Tanaka, energy research company IFP New Energies executive VP Pascal Barthelemy and Chinese State-owned mining and energy company Shenhua president and CEO Zhang Yuzhuo.

Growth Potential in India

The World CTX 2013 Summit highlights that, after China, India is the country with the most coal and petcoke conversion project potential.

According to Indian steel and energy company Jindal Steel & Power, India has pro-ven coal reserves for the next 200 years, making it a sus- tain-able means of energy production.

Projects that will be addressed at the summit include petcoke to synthetic gas (syngas), substitute natural gas and chemicals projects, which are being carried out by energy conglomerate Reliance Industries, Indian State-owned oil and gas com- pany Bharat Petroleum and steel, energy and infrastructure company Essar.

Coal-to-syngas, liquid fuels and chemicals projects being implemented by Jindal and public-sector company Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilisers will also be addressed.

CTL projects, which are being implemented by Jindal and chemicals, crop nutrition and consumer products company Tata Chemicals, will also be discussed.

The World CTX 2013 Summit highlights that the growing interest in coal and petcoke conversion in India is the result of depleting oil reserves in the country, the volatile price of oil, the high dependence on imported oil, the country’s extensive inferior coal reserves and the con- version technology available.

Jindal highlights that increased economic activities and lifestyle expectations, such as the demand for more electricity, will result in more energy being needed to sustain growth in India.

Projects in Progress

Jindal is working on a CTL project in Odisha, India, that is expected to produce 80 000 bbl/d of CTL fuels from coal sourced from the Durgapur plant, in the Angul district. The company claims that the plant will create 30 000 direct and indirect jobs.
Capital expenditure for the project is between $10-billion and $12-billion and it is one of only two CTL projects in India. The project has an extended schedule with limited contractor availability and Jindal notes that there are scale-up risks with regard to the technology used at the project.

The project requires massive infrastructure requirements, with the integration of multiple business units. The proposed site for the project has connectivity to rail infrastructure, is near water resources and is in close pro- ximity to a port.

Challenges facing the project include the high level of ash (40% to 50%) typical of Indian coal and the high level of contaminants, such as fluorides and chlorides, which Indian coal usually contains.

Growing Interests in CTL

The growing energy needs of particularly developing countries, and the uncertainty pertaining to oil availability, have made coal conversion attractive, particularly in countries with large coal reserves.
The prospect of higher oil prices has also encouraged private and State-owned com- panies to consider coal conversion projects.

Before 2009, CTL was only commercially operated in South Africa. Currently, four demonstration plants are in operation in China, where capacity has reached 29 000 bbl/d and is expected to increase to 310 000 bbl/d by 2016.

Other CTL projects are currently under way in Australia, Botswana, India, Mongolia, the US and Russia.

“Top recognised experts will present technological updates, environmental issues and solutions and will advise on conversion plant construction. Lessons learnt from any project should benefit others and our mission is to participate in this expertise and experience sharing,” says Perineau.