WATCHING THE WORLD: CTL helping coal advance

With its continued drive to secure supplies of oil and natural gas, China is moving ahead with determination on several different coal-to-liquids (CTL) projects.In the most recent development, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and China’s top coal producer Shenhua Group last week moved a step closer to a major CTL project involving an investment of up to $5-6 billion.The firms announced their agreement to pursue a 3-year study of a plant in the remote western Ningxia region, after which they would make a final investment decision.If the project goes ahead, the plant is expected to produce about 3 million tonnes/year, or about 70,000 b/d, of liquid fuel, when it starts up around 2012. That is eq...

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