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Cluff targets large coal resource under the Firth of Forth

World Coal,

Cluff Natural Resources (CNR) is drawing up plans to extract coal from under the Firth of Forth in Scotland.

CNR said a study has found as much as 335 million t of coal near Kincardine and the company is now seeking permission to build the UK’s first deep offshore underground coal gasification (UCG) project to extract it.

An independent body has confirmed the coal reserves, according to the Herald Scotland.

CNR said the UCG project will create new posts and protect existing jobs in the area.

CNR said the UCG process – in which the coal is drilled and mixed with oxygen to produce syngas – can be used to power boilers and turbines, while it can also be supplied to petrochemical, steel or chemicals industries.

CNR chairman and chief executive Algy Cluff said: "This report supports the company's UCG licence selection and forms the basis for future investment in Scotland while proving the performance of the deep UCG process in a UK context.”

"The development of UCG at the Kincardine licence area would result in the creation of new jobs, help protect existing industry as well as create significant supply chain benefits,” Cluff continued. "The emerging UCG industry has a significant role to play in unlocking the UK's most abundant indigenous energy resource which, with the imminent closure of the last deep coal mines, is now otherwise effectively beyond reach.”

"The deep offshore UCG projects being undertaken by CNR have significant environmental safety and, when combined with carbon capture and storage, climate change benefits compared with coal mining and coal-fired power generation," Cluff added.

CNR holds eight UK licences for UCG projects.

Stuart Haszeldine, Professor of carbon capture and storage at the University of Edinburgh, said: "CNR's offshore deep UCG is a bold and innovative proposal which could help to regain energy security and value through low-carbon production of fossil fuel.”

"Domestic coal resources exist which are sufficient to supply many decades of secure energy production and feedstock. But those resources will remain inaccessible until new extraction technology is deployed such as UCG, and unless the produced carbon is captured after use,” Haszeldine added.

"Fuel and feedstock extracted from coal by underground gasification will be much cleaner than importing coal because most of the engineering occurs deep below ground offshore. Underground gasification will have less impact on the public than other forms of unconventional gas extraction," Haszeldine concluded.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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