Ground Truth Trekking
download a pdf of this article

Beluga Coal-to-Liquids (CTL)

Last Modified: 16th August 2012

Winter sunrise on the Chuitna River

In the winter of 2008, we skied through the site of the proposed Chuitna Coal Mine on our way to the Aleutian Islands.

PacRim Coal is pursuing a possible coal mine in large deposits on the Chuitna River near Cook Inlet and this could supply coal to a coal-to-liquids (CTL) facility in nearby Beluga. This facility was proposed as an 80,000 barrels (approximately 40,000 tons of coal) per day integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) plant called "Alaska Natural Resources to Liquids", at an estimated cost at $5 billion in 2006. The initial $1.5 million feasibility study (4.1 MB) was completed in 2006.

This project is still in the idea stage, with no firm plans or permit applications, and is contingent on the development of the proposed Chuitna Coal strip mine. The fuel produced at this facility would to be exported to the West Coast of the US.

This facility would have theoretically offset some of the cost of carbon capture and sequestration by pumping the excess CO2 into existing nearby oil and gas fields to enhance yields of these fossil fuels. However, the feasibility analysis examined the CO2 storage and/or recovery options for Cook Inlet and determined that under most projections this wouldn't be economically viable.

Current Status

While no progress has been made on this project in years, a very similar proposal using newer technology was put forward by Tyonek Native Corporation (TNC) in 2010.

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

Attribution and Copyright info

By David CoilErin McKittrickBretwood HigmanGround Truth Trekking

Content on this page is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license. For commercial uses please contact us.

Date Created: 19th April 2010