Microwaving coal heats up in Indonesia

THE first MicroCoal coal upgrading facility will be built in Kalimantan following a sales agreement between an Indonesian company and MicroCoal Technologies.

Staff Reporter

The agreement between MicroCoal and PT Wijaya Tri Utama provides for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the first MicroCoal commercial facility.

The facility will be located onsite at the company’s coal-fired power plant in Kalimantan and will utilize MicroCoal’s proprietary coal drying technology that increases the calorific value of thermal coal and reduces pollutants.

The technology uses microwave technology to reduce the moisture content in the coal, thereby upgrading its energy content to that of a more expensive high-rank coal.

Under the terms of the agreement, PWTU will pay MicroCoal a one-time construction fee of $US6 million in two parts, as well as an annual fee for a period of six years and maintenance fees pursuant to supporting agreements currently under discussion.

Vancouver-based MicroCoal said in a statement Monday that the facility would be designed to upgrade the calorific value of 190,000 tons per annum of low-rank thermal coal – or about 8000 British thermal units per pound – to 9000Btu/lb by removing up to 10% of the moisture.

“The execution of this master agreement is a validation of the importance of our technology as part of a global energy solution that improves the thermal output of coal and reduces the pollution it generates,” MicroCoal chief executive officer Slawek Smulewicz said.

“We are extremely delighted that PT Wijaya Tri Utama has purchased the MicroCoal technology to optimize the performance of their coal plant, as Indonesia is one of the world’s largest consumers of low‐rank coal.

“This first commercial installation will serve to showcase the scalability of our modular microwave coal drying technology, which we plan to apply to coal‐fired power plants worldwide.”