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Speaker of Parliament explores coal gasification in US

By M.ZOLJARGAL

Mongolia’s Speaker of Parliament, Z.Enkhbold, paid an official visit to the United States (US), where he learned about converting coal to gas and to liquid fuel.

Speaker Z.Enkhbold last week visited Washington D.C., where he met with various officials in the energy sector to discuss ways to address Mongolia’s energy issues.

At a ceremony to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ulaanbaatar City Governor’s Office and US company General Electric, Z.Enkhbold noted in a speech that “Air pollution in Ulaanbaatar has reached a hazardous level. The smartest solution would be to change the type of fuel used for heating of households and business entities, using gas processed from coal. If we don’t, we cannot solve this issue. Companies in the USA are leading the market in coal liquefaction and coal gasification. We will soon visit the first and the largest plant, which has been operating for around 40 years now. Various works are planned as part of our objective to reduce air pollution. Perhaps joint ventures between Mongolia and the USA will soon be able to export coal gas to China. But first of all we are focusing on producing smoke-free fuel in relation to addressing the issue of air pollution in Ulaanbaatar.”

The visit by the Speaker of Parliament to the United States follows discussions last year between Mongolia’s Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy and Germany regarding a possible partnership to build a coal gasification plant.

On Friday, Speaker Z.Enkhbold visited the Dakota Gasification Company plant during his visit to the state of North Dakota in the US. Bloomberg TV interviewed Z.Enkhbold during his visit.

-What is the purpose of your visit to the Dakota gas plant?

-This plant manufactures a product using carbon dioxide (CO2) and is selling it. This company turned this waste product into a product for sale. The experience of this plant, which has a rich history and sustained successful operations, has remarkable significance for our country. We think it would be a revolution if Mongolia started producing coal gas and provided heating with it.

-The foremost issue to consider regarding building such a plant is finance. I’ve heard it takes four years to construct a plant and it costs three or four billion USD. Is there any potential financial backing for this?

-Private companies alone might not be able to build the plant. Funds must be collected from many sectors and organizations. We can get financial backing from the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) of the United States if we introduce American technology to Mongolia on producing coal gas. Generally, we must be concerned about how to solve the hazardous air pollution issue first, rather than sitting still and calculating how to recover the costs, as health is the most important thing for everyone.

-Some studies have shown that Mongolia might face energy shortages from 2014. How does the government plan to prevent this?

-The government plans to construct several plants. We learned here that the cost of energy decreases if a plant is built at the mouth of a coal mine. There are no big cities around the two 1,000 MW plants. These two plants distribute power to nine states of the US, from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=3464

Posted by on Mar 28 2013. Filed under Domestic. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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