KYIV, Ukraine, October 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
The construction of five plants producing synthesis gas from coal will start in Ukraine in 2013, according to the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. Investment in the project may go up to USD 3.5 billion. Having been agreed upon in autumn of 2012, the project has currently moved to the stage of designing the plants.
Synthesis gas or syngas is a gas mixture that is comprised of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The energy density of syngas is approximately 50 percent less than that of natural gas. Ukraine will be using Chinese technology to build the plants. Moreover, the republic is ready to provide a loan to cover the project's cost, informed China Daily in August 2012.
Previously the Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov stated that the country was interested in the progressive Chinese technology of coal gasification and coal-water fuel production. Notably, coal gasification "offers one of the most versatile and clean ways to convert coal into electricity, hydrogen and other valuable energy products" as it does not involve burning coal, according to George Muntean, the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as quoted by sciencedaily.com.
Conveniently, in 2011, Ukraine increased domestic coal production by 8.8 percent compared to 2010, reported Bloomberg. In January - September 2012, the country upped coal production by another 5.3 percent, reaching the approximate production level of 64 million tons per year, informed MENAFN. Investment into Ukrainian coal industry grew by 8 percent in 2011 - up to USD 210 million.
Increasing energy production from coal aligns with Ukraine's goals to strengthen its energy independence. According to the State Program on Energy Efficiency 2010-2015, Ukraine will reduce domestic energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency, developing domestic gas reserves, introducing green energy production technology, and diversifying gas import.
Besides syngas, China will assist Ukraine in biofuel production. In February 2012, China expressed its interest to invest in ethanol biofuel production in the Eastern European country. Should the project come to life, ten unprofitable Ukrainian alcohol plants will be turned into ethanol production facilities. Chinese partners will provide equipment, technology, and financing (supposedly - USD 120 million) for the project.
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine