Ukraine modernising mine operations
Posted: 20 August 2008
The JSC Coal Company Krasnoarmeiskaya Zapadnaya is the latest Ukraine company to modernize its coal mining operations by signing a framework agreement with GE Energy.
Under the agreement, JSC plans to install up to 20 of GE’s ecomaginationTM-certified Jenbacher coal mine gas-fueled cogeneration units.
The engines will use the active mine‘s own methane gas to generate about 129 MW in total power output, covering the mine’s on-site power and heat requirements.
The initiative will also reduce site emissions and support workplace safety initiatives.
The privately owned mine is located near the town of Krasnoarmeisk in the coal-rich Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.
While many coal mines in Central and Eastern Europe have traditionally utilized a small portion of their coal mine methane (CMM) for generating steam, Ukraine has become a regional leader in installing the latest technology to expand the use of the gas for on-site power generation.
Being one of Europe‘s leading coal-producing countries, Ukraine is a founding member of the United Nations-backed Methane to Markets Partnership, an international initiative supporting the cost-effective recovery and utilization of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Recycling the gas to generate on-site power can offer significant economic benefits.
When the Krasnoarmeiskaya Zapadnaya project reaches full operation, it is expected to potentially reduce the equivalent of more than two million tons CO2 emissions per year, compared to venting the gas into the atmosphere – qualifying the plant for carbon emission trading certificates.
"Ukraine is encouraging its coal mines to modernize their operations, including the use of mine gas as a new source for on-site power to improve energy efficiency and support the nation‘s economic and energy security objectives," said Alex Pavlov, GE’s Jenbacher gas engine Sales Manager for the Ukraine.
"GE is helping operators accomplish this goal by supplying Jenbacher specialty gas engines to help lower their energy costs and reduce methane emissions.
"Generating nearly 129 MW of power with mine gas could save about 122 million cubic meters of natural gas a year."
The project will also enhance workplace safety in the mine. As part of the mine’s new gas utilization initiative, the operator is installing an improved mine gas ventilation system, which will further improve worker safety. By capturing mine gas for on-site power, less of the gas will be available to mix with oxygen and create a potentially explosive combination—one of the most significant hazards that coal miners face.
The power project’s engineering and procurement contractor (EPC) Sinapse CHNPP of Kiev secured the framework agreement to install up to 20 of GE’s 3-MW, JMS 620 GS-S.L. systems, which are designed specifically for projects with low methane contents. Sinapse is also GE’s authorized Jenbacher engine distributor for the region.
The cogeneration units will operate in parallel to the local grid. The mine gas-fueled plant will have total electrical and thermal outputs of 60.9 MW and 67.8 MW, respectively, with the electrical and thermal power being used to support mine operations.
The Jenbacher units are scheduled to be delivered to the site between 2008 and 2011. GE is also supplying a complete heat utilization system, emergency cooling, control and synchronization system, as well as start-up and commissioning.
Long term service for the Jenbacher units will also be provided by Sinapse, enhancing the value of this alternative energy project.
The Ukraine coal mine industry has now ordered a total of 44 of GE’s J620 GS Jenbacher gas engines for several CMM projects. GE’s previous successful installations were a factor in Krasnoarmeiskaya Zapadnaya selecting the Jenbacher units for its CMM project.