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Healy Coal-to-Liquids (CTL)

Last Modified: 16th August 2012

Energy frontier

The site of the proposed Emma Creek Power Energy Project and Healy CTL project.

In 2007 a feasibility study(3.6 Mb) was completed regarding a proposed 14,600 barrel (around 7300 tons of coal) per day coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant in Healy, near the Usibelli coal mine to supply liquid fuels to refineries within Alaska. Possible customers include the Flint Hills and PetroStar refineries in North Pole, the PetroStar refinery in Valdez, and the Tesoro refinery in Nikiski. This proposal grew directly out of the planned Beluga CTL project when it was found that the subbituminous coal found at Usibelli coal mine shared almost identical properties with the coal found at the proposed Chuitna strip mine near Beluga. Therefore this plant would use the same integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology as proposed for the Beluga CTL project. However, since the coal would come from the existing Usibelli mine, this project is not dependent on the creation of a new mine at Chuitna.  This plant was possibly to be sited adjacent to the proposed Emma Creek Energy Project.

Coal Seam by Emma Creek

A fledgling Great Horned Owl poses on a coal seam by Emma Creek.

This proposal investigated the possibility of carbon capture and storage (CCS) using nearby unmineable coal beds for CO2 storage, but concluded that unless mandated by law CCS would not be economically feasible at the site. Therefore any fuel derived from a Healy CTL plant would have a much higher impact on global warming than conventional oil-based fuels.

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By David CoilErin McKittrickBretwood HigmanGround Truth Trekking

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Date Created: 19th April 2010