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Safe, efficient exploitation of mine gas in Kazakhstan

Leading Austrian company Jenbacher Gas Engines, part of GE, is behind the first project to harness gas from a Kazakhstani mine. The company has also completed schemes to exploit associated petroleum gas. Kazakhstan’s huge oil and mining industries create a high demand for schemes of this type.

GE Energy’s range of gas engines is predominantly manufactured in the Tyrolean town of Jenbach. The company is one of the world’s leading providers of gas engines, generator sets, and thermal power plants, and one of the few suppliers to be exclusively focussed on gas engine technology. The engines produced in Jenbach range from 0.25 to 9.5 MW units that can run both on natural gas and on a wide variety of bio and special gases produced in agriculture, mining, industry or waste management.

The project in Kazakhstan is an example of coal mine gas utilisation. Coal mine gas is a rather problematic by-product of coal mining, since it can become explosive when mixed with air. If the mine’s ventilation system is unable to nullify this risk, the mine has to be additionally degased in order to guarantee mineworkers’ safety. But handled safely, harnessing coal mine gas is a really innovative way of meeting our energy needs.

A Jenbacher engine was installed at the Lenin mine in Temirtau, a facility that belongs to the Indian steel producer Arcelor Mittal. The project was opened by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Using coal mine gas, the engine generates 1.4 MW of electricity.