Laurus Energy, CIRI form UCG joint venture

On June 8, CIRI and Houston-based Laurus Energy announced the formation of Stone Horn Ridge LLC, a company created to commercialize syngas from underground coal gasification (UCG). The Anchorage based joint venture is developing syngas for power generation, ultra-clean liquid fuels and other consumer and industrial applications.

Stone Horn Ridge’s production site will be on resource-rich CIRI-owned land on the west side of Cook Inlet in Southcentral Alaska and will provide an alternative to natural gas, bringing price stability, clean reliable power and increased business competition to Southcentral energy needs.

“UCG is changing the way we think about coal and allows us to harness its power in a responsible, economic and environmentally sound way,” said Ethan Schutt, CIRI’s senior vice president of land and energy development. “By combining the abundant and otherwise unusable coal reserves on CIRI land with Laurus Energy’s proprietary Exergy UCG(tm) Technology, Stone Horn Ridge is creating a cost-effective energy source to meet increasing needs.”

Stone Horn Ridge was formed to use the UCG process to expand energy options. UCG is a proven technology process that gasifies coal deep underground. The company will produce an energy-rich syngas, or synthesis gas, a domestic, secure and environmentally sound source of clean energy. UCG-produced syngas is produced from a well technology that eliminates the health risks associated with traditional coal mining and has an environmental footprint similar to natural gas. As its first commercial application, Stone Horn Ridge will produce syngas to fuel a 100MW power plant in Southcentral Alaska. The company is also in discussions with potential customers to customize the product as a feedstock for other gas-based industries.

CIRI and Laurus Energy started working on the project in 2009 to develop a responsible and deliberate plan for providing Alaska with clean, dependable energy solutions. The company is well along with a test drilling program to validate the coal resource and geology as a high-value target for syngas production.