CIRI proposes Cook Inlet coal plant

Posted: Sunday, October 11, 2009

ANCHORAGE - An Alaska Native corporation says it wants to build a new power plant using coal on the west side of Cook Inlet.

Cook Inlet Regional Inc. announced its proposal Friday for a 100-megawatt plant 20 miles north of Tyonek.

Officials say emerging technology would be used for the plant that doesn't require coal to be mined. The Anchorage Daily News reports the coal would be transformed into natural gas underground.

The process involves drilling wells into coal seams and injecting oxygen into the wells. That would cause the coal to combust and become liquid gas, which would be converted into electricity at the plant.

CIRI says if the project is feasible and gets regulatory approval, it could be producing gas by 2014.

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