Tarong Energy has proposed to build a coal-water slurry pipeline to transport coal from the Surat basin to the power plant located near Nanango. Therefore the following report aims to establish the key parameters affecting the hydraulic and mechanical design and thus the economics of a slurry pipeline. By utilizing a detailed cost model, the key constraints controlling project viability can be established; from this the cost and thus validity of the pipeline can be established. Additionally, by completing extra research and various sensitivity analyses other important issues can be outlined.
From the subsequent cost model and the completed research, there are numerous hydraulic and mechanical design factors that affect the final price of the pipeline. These controlling variables include:
• Route selection
• Rates of wear on equipment
• Pipe diameter and solid content
• Volumetric throughput
All of which have a major influence on the final cost and thus feasibility. However volumetric throughput is a key concern, especially with the increasing demand for electricity and hence coal. Therefore it is imperative that further investigation be conducted on the consequences of increasing the volumetric flow and pipe diameter with the capital and operating costs.
In concluding, the capital cost of the pipeline can be estimated to be approximately 88.8 million dollars, this includes the slurrification plant, pipeline, pump stations and dewatering facilities, where as the annual operating costs were calculated to be 7.5 million dollars. Consequently this results in an annual cost of approximately 16 million dollars for the next thirty-years. This is assuming a 90% annual availability and employing a pipe diameter of 300mm, a solid content of 0.4 and a throughput capacity of 1000000tons of coal per year. This price is a valid cost estimate and provides a logical reason to continue development of the pipeline and further investigation into the controlling parameters.