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GE Energy has announced that an alternative-energy plant, powered by its Jenbacher waste coal mine gas engines, has opened in Queensland, Australia.

The 45.6MW alternative-energy plant, located at Anglo Coal’s Moranbah North mine, allows the operator to capture the mine’s methane-rich gas and use it as a fuel to generate electricity instead of venting the gas into the atmosphere.

The plant is powered by 15 of GE Energy’s ecomagination-certified, 3MW J620 Jenbacher gas engines.

The cogeneration plant offers Anglo Coal an important environmental benefit because methane has 21 times the greenhouse-warming potential of CO2, the greenhouse gas most closely associated with climate change.

GE Jenbacher combined heat and power (CHP) technology also allows the operator to use an available source of fuel to help reduce its operational expenses.

Through the capture and utilisation of mine gas, the Moranbah North project will deliver environmental and energy security benefits.

The distributed energy plant will save up to about 1.3 million tons of CO2 equivalents, or the average of taking 330,000 cars off the road each per year.

Energy Developments, owner and operator of the plant, will sell most of the plant’s 45.6MW output to the national grid.

Energy Developments designated Clarke Energy Australia to install GE Jenbacher units as part of a turnkey contract.

The overall power-station design, balance of the plant, Scada controls and turnkey construction were provided by Clarke Energy Australia.

GE Jenbacher gas engine technology is designed to be flexible to handle fluctuating gas qualities – a long-time industry obstacle – allowing the utilisation of gas from both active as well as closed sections of mines.

GE Energy also is working with partners in Queensland to develop an integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plant, incorporating 90 per cent carbon capture and storage.

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