Thursday, July 11, 2013

News: Alkane ahead of schedule at Maltby


Alkane Energy is ahead of schedule for the production of energy from methane at Maltby Colliery site in Rotherham.

The Nottinghamshire company operates mid-sized "gas to power" electricity plants providing both predictable and fast response capacity to the grid. It raised £6m in equity funding to complete a £7.5m deal to buy certain coal mine methane (CMM) assets at Maltby earlier this year.

In a recent trading update, the directors reported that: "The Maltby site is in its early changeover phase as mining operations are ceased at the colliery and we are delighted to report that we were able to achieve first production some five weeks ahead of the original plan."

Underground operations ended in March at the Maltby site that occupies 500 acres and employed over 500 staff and contractors. It is the last coking coal mine left in the UK and produced both high quality coking coal and power station coal.

A decision was made to mothball the mine following no viable alternative solution being found to geological reports that indicated that the risks associated with mining a new panel, called T125, had not significantly reduced and that the panel is not viable on health & safety, geological, and financial grounds.

Without underground workings, Maltby will continue to trade with tiny coal particles called "fines" harvested and processed.

Owners and operators, Hargreaves received an initial payment of £5.5m followed by up to a further £2m payable six months after the mine shafts have been filled and capped as part of Maltby's planned closure and restoration programme. It is anticipated that these tasks will be completed during the first half of 2014.

Maltby has reserves of an estimated 11.6 billion cubic feet of coal mine methane, which Alkane will extract and use to generate electricity. With eight CHP engines, the site has an existing installed capacity of 11.2MW and Alkane hopes to expand CMM operations.

Alkane Energy website

Images: Alkane Energy


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