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World Clean Coal Conference, Turkey & Eurasia, 9-10 February 2015

Posted: 23 February 2014 By: Hermine Nalbandian

The meeting had a large Turkish contingent but there were a few delegates from Poland, Germany mainly, Japan, Denmark, and the Netherlands. I was the only person from the UK as far as I could tell. Nevertheless, attendance was good. There were about 100 delegates or so. 

Turkey is very interested in gasification as it can utilise its low quality coal for power and methane production. However, due to the high moisture, ash and sulphur contents, even gasification may be problematic but still possible nonetheless, with the right technology. Construction of 7-8 planned, supercritical power plants, which require high rank and therefore imported coal will increase imports to around 55% to use in these units. The ash melting temperature of the Turkish lignite is mostly low, so the classical pulverised systems would work at low availability. Fluidised bed combustion (FBC) is a growing power generation sector too with an increase in the use of domestic coal expected in 2015 to be around 5%. Further FBC units are also in the pipeline. However, ~95% and ~99% dependency on imported oil and gas respectively is pushing the drive to use more domestic coal, hence gasification. 

Most of the presentations on gasification were on the technology and their application in the chemical industry and only a few papers discussed gasification for power as well. It is expected that coal to methane will play a role in the future in Turkey. Mr Mustafa Ziypak (Turkish Coal Enterprises, TKI), said in his presentation that they expect 1 tonne of Turkish lignite to produce 600-700 kg of methane.

State-owned companies operating in the sector are: 
- TTK - Turkish Hard Coal Enterprise 
- TKI - Turkish Coal Enterprises 
- EUAS - Electricity Generation Company 
- MTA - Mineral Research and Exploration Company 

TTK was the only company dealing with hard coal production before 2005. The introduction of a royalty system, to increase production, resulted in the private sector carrying out some of the hard coal production in the country. 

TKI produces about half of all lignite production (~49% in 2012) 
EUAS produces lignite for its power plants (~46% in 2012)
MTA carry out exploration studies 
Private companies produce around 9% of total lignite production and currently around 35% of total hard coal production.
The TÜBÄ°TAK Marmara Research Center is involved in numerous gasification projects (TRIJEN: fluidised bed gasification and F-T synthesis of diesel and Tunçbilek: Entrained flow gasification and synthesis of methanol). The organisation is also involved in projects on coal combustion (MILTES: Development of a 22 MWe thermal power plant based on circulating fluidised bed combustor (CFB), MILKAS: Development of a flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) system and TSAD: R&D of methods to benefit from thermal power plant surplus heat and district heating).
Briefly, ~25% of energy production in 2014 was coal based with ~70 GW capacity in operation. This is expected to decrease somewhat to ~21% whilst gas utilisation in power generation is expected to increase to ~31%. Estimates show that Turkey has 1.3 Bt of hard coal reserves (0.5 Bt proven) and 11.5 Bt of lignite (9.8 Bt proven). The shift to domestic lignite utilisation from natural gas for power generation is inevitable (i.e. government policy) as dependency on imported oil and gas is approaching the 100%. The government and industry focus is hence on clean coal technology application in Turkey.

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