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Stone Horn Ridge Underground Coal Gasification (CIRI UCG)

Last Modified: 16th August 2012

Background

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Land within the CIRI UCG lease

Land within the CIRI UCG lease

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On October 9th, 2009 the Cook Inlet Region Inc (CIRI) native corporation announced plans to build a 100 MW Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) plant on the west side of Cook Inlet Alaska. This plant would use coal from the Beluga coal field, the same field that contains the site of the prospective Chuitna Coal Mine. CIRI hopes to start producing gas as early as 2015 which would make it the first operational UCG plant in the entire US. According to CIRI, the resulting CO2 could be pumped to nearby oil fields to enhance oil recovery, reducing the project's impact on global warming. However, no coal combustion plant of any kind has ever successfully sequestered its CO2. A pipeline to achieve this goal could cost over $100 million, and senior VP of CIRI Ethan Schutt says they "hope that's someone else's project."  In December 2009, CIRI applied for exploration permits to pursue this project.  Exploration occurred during 2010 and 2011 and a more formal site characterization is expected in 2012.

For more information including economic analyses and studies of potential environmental impact of the project, see Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) Documents hosted by Ground Truth Trekking.

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In June 2010, CIRI and a company called Laurus Energy announced the formation of Stone Horn Ridge LLC.  This company will be responsible for the development of the UCG project on CIRI lands.  A timeline of the project released in 2010, originally suggested that site selection and permitting would begin in 2011 with a target date of 2014 for construction, and 2015 for commercial operation.  During a talk in November, 2011 CIRI stated that formal site characterization would take place in 2012.

 

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By David CoilErin McKittrickBretwood HigmanGround Truth Trekking

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Date Created: 14th June 2010