China has utilised coal-to-gas technology to decrease pollution, and increase the amount of cleaner fuels within large cities. However, environmental groups have stated that the coal-to-gas and/or coal-to-liquid projects will in fact have little effect on reducing pollution and carbon emissions.
In 2014, China’s National Energy Administration had cautioned operators to consider their coal-to-gas projects. Apart from needing regulator approval for these projects, the warning highlighted issues of environmental damage and costly investments.
Sinopec took the National Energy Administration’s considerations of environmental hazards and, as a result, in July 2015 the company was given permission to undertake their coal-to-gas projects though only within regions that have sufficient water resources.
And now, Sinopec – a Chinese energy giant – has stated that China’s National Energy Administration has approved a pipeline, of which will transport synthetic gas from coal-to-gas projects.
The 8400 km pipeline will carry a maximum of 30 billion m3/y from Xinjiang to Guangdong, and will cost over US$20.5 billion. In the future, the pipeline will transport conventional and shale gas, in addition to coal-bed methane.
Edited from various sources by Stephanie Roker
Sources: Interfax Global Energy, Seeking Alpha, Reuters