Lurgi offers coal to liquid technology

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai, Aug 13 | Updated: Aug 14 2008, 05:41am hrs
Lurgi India Company Pvt Ltd (LND), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Frankfurt based Lurgi AG of Germany, has evinced interest to provide coal to liquid (CTL) technology to India. Many potential CTL project proponents like JSPL, GAIL, IOC, Sterling Energy, Bhushan Steel and others have identified Lurgi as a complete technology and engineering services provider for CTL projects.

Lurgi is a technology-based engineering company with expertise for entire processes chain of CTL projects and has the desired engineering experience of several decades.

According to sources, Lurgi has proposed to the coal ministry that it would be prudent to develop three-four CTL projects in India using low-rank high-ash coal from the large reserves in Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The capacity of the plants could be 40,000 barrel per day (bbl/day) in the first phase with plans for expansion of 80,000 bbl/day.

Lurgi has argued that this approach will indeed help India to assimilate the technology & plant engineering and develop experience in plant operation and maintenance within a reasonable time frame. Sources said Lurgis interest to provide CTL technology is crucial when the coal ministry had put on offer three coal blocks in Orissa with combined estimated reserves of 6 billion tonne of coal one block with 3 billion tonne and the other two blocks with 1.5 billion tonne each. The company that is allocated the block with 3 billion tonne reserves, however, will be allowed mining only up to 1.5 billion tonne of coal in line with the requirements of such projects, with the remaining coal in the reserves to be used for other purposes later.

At present, Lurgi is executing a coal gasification and reduction gas facility project in Orissa wherein 2.2 million tonne per annum (mmtpa) of Talcher low-grade coal and with 35% ash content will be gasified, and reduction gas at 5.6 million standard cubic meter per day will be produced, for use in production of 2.0 mmtpa direct reduction iron.

The company is operating in India since 1964 and currently has a total engineering strength of 400 employees. Lurgi has over five decades of technology development and engineering experience in conversion of syngas to motor fuels adopting Fischer-Tropch synthesis route.

Lurgi commissioned, in 1955, the first commercial CTL plant to produce 500-bbl/day of crude oil-based on ARGE fixed bed reactor process technology at Secunda, Republic of South Africa.