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Tuesday, 27 November, 2001, 14:28 GMT
Mines targeted as electricity source
Coal mine
Coal mines could supply local energy needs
Ambitious plans are being discussed to produce electricity from pockets of methane gas trapped in old mines in the south Wales Valleys.

UK Gas Limited have applied for permission to test for mines gas around the site of the old Parc and Dare collieries.

If successful a permanent gas-powered electricity generation plant could be set up on the site at Treorchy, Rhondda, to meet local energy needs.

Commercially viable

Using methane gas from landfill sites for power generation is becoming increasingly popular and meets the UK Government's desire for 10% of all energy supplies to come from alternative sources.

Officers at Rhondda Cynon Taff Council are recommending UK Gas is granted permission to set up three test boreholes around the old Parc and Dare collieries.

Over a period of three months, the firm will check whether the amount and quality of gas from shaft vents and surrounding areas would make a commercial venture viable.

If the trial venture is successful, the company will consider building a gas-powered electricity plant.

The council said the scheme will need consideration from the Coal Authority and Department of Trade and Industry.

But a council spokesman said they were very interested in a project which explores the use of renewable resources.

Energy "prospectors" have been looking at the viability of mines in England.

See also:

17 Dec 00 | Sci/Tech
Methane hopes for closed mines
10 Jul 00 | Wales
Gas prospectors target colliery
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