Underground gasification in the Loughor estuary

Paul Mobbs mobbsey at gn.apc.org
Mon Oct 8 21:24:31 BST 2012

Hash: SHA1

FYI, the relevant address to investigate is --
Cloff Coal, 32 Duke Street, St James's, London SW1Y 6DF



Coal firm's bid to produce energy from under estuary

South Wales Evening Post, Tuesday 25th September 2012

A COMPANY wants to investigate whether coal under the Loughor Estuary can 
be "gasified" to produce energy.

Cluff Coal has applied to the Coal Authority, which owns the UK's coal 
seams, for a conditional underground coal gasification licence.

It's still very early days, and the Coal Authority is waiting for more 
information from the London-registered company before determining the 

If it awarded Cluff Coal a conditional licence, the company would have to 
satisfy local authorities and the Environment Agency, among others, of its 
plans before being able to test drill.

A Cluff Coal spokesman said: "The Government is keen to look at all sorts of 
different technologies to produce gas. We think underground coal gasification 
is something that can be progressed."

Cluff Coal has applied for 18 licences in different parts of the UK. 
Underground coal gasification, said the spokesman, had been demonstrated on 
a commercial basis in the US.

"The environmental checks are incredibly stringent," he said. "We have no 
intention to have an (adverse) effect on the local community or environment.

"Our application for the conditional licence is because we believe there is 
an opportunity there."

The estuary is a sensitive environmental site and forms part of the 
Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries European Marine Site, designated under the 
European Union's Habitats and Birds Directives.

John Childs, of Swansea Friends of the Earth, said he had concerns about 
underground coal gasification, which has also been touted for Swansea Bay.

"It is a very experimental technique," he said.

"As far as I know, the ones here in Swansea Bay and the Loughor Estuary are 
the only ones to be considered for under the sea."


Profile image for South Wales Evening Post

South Wales Evening Post, Friday 5th October 2012

THE plan to spend £150 million cleaning up Loughor estuary will surely be 
appreciated by Cluff Coal Ltd when their attempts at underground coal 
gasification (UCG) result in methane, ammonia, tar and all manner of other 
toxic substances being released into the now clean waters of the estuary.

Old mine workings from both the Penclawdd and Loughor sides of the river 
would act as conduits, taking poisonous gases under the heavily populated 
areas of Gorseinon, Penyrheol, Grovesend and as far as Dunvant, Three 
Crosses and other North Gower villages.

South Wales now relies heavily on tourism after its loss of heavy industry. 
Who will want to come and visit our bays and beaches with their drilling 
rigs and vents giving off toxic fumes, or walk on our mountains and 
moorlands, the spectacular views blighted by row upon row of wind turbines?

Hilary Thorpe, Princess Street, Gorseinon

- -- 


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Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
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