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Queensland Government Inaugurates Alternative Energy Plant

Posted on September 30, 2009

Queensland Minister for Mines and Energy Stephen Robertson recently opened one of Australia‘s most powerful onsite power plants fueled by waste coal mine gas (WCMG). The 45.6-megawatt (MW) alternative energy plant, located at Anglo Coal's Moranbah North mine in the state of Queensland, allows the operator to capture the mine‘s methane-rich gas and use it as a fuel to generate electricity instead of venting the gas into the atmosphere. The plant is powered by 15 of GE Energy’s ecomagination-certified, three-MW J620 Jenbacher gas engines. Anglo Coal is one of the country’s largest coal mining companies. The Moranbah North mine is located 1,117 kilometers north of Brisbane.

The new cogeneration plant offers Anglo Coal an important environmental benefit because methane has 21 times the greenhouse warming potential of carbon dioxide (CO2). GE‘s Jenbacher combined heat and power (CHP) technology also allows the operator to use an available source of fuel to help reduce its operational expenses. Through the capture and utilization of mine gas, the Moranbah North project will deliver significant environmental and energy security benefits. The distributed energy plant will save up to about 1.3 million tons of CO2 equivalents, or the average of taking 330,000 cars off the road each per year. Energy Developments Limited, owner and operator of the plant, will sell most of the plant's 45.6-MW output to the national grid.

EDL had designated Clarke Energy Australia to install GE's Jenbacher units as part of a turnkey contract. Clarke Energy Australia is a subsidiary of Clarke Energy Group and GE's longtime Jenbacher authorized distributor in the United Kingdom. The overall power station design, balance of the plant, SCADA controls and turnkey construction were provided by Clarke Energy Australia.

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