A project that will provide enough gas to power a fifth of South Wales could spell the end for wind farms if interest in the scheme ignites.
Energy experts believe the site in the Llynfi Valley could offer the Welsh Assembly Government and local businesses a very real alternative to unpopular turbines.
In May 2006 the Gazette revealed Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd had applied to drill a coal bed methane exploration well at Cwmcedfyw Farm, Pontrhydycyff.
And UK Onshore Gas Group chairman, Gerwyn Williams, believed the old colliery workings could contain enough methane to provide 6,000 homes with environmentally friendly energy for 1,000 years.
Now, two years on, and with experts from the USA and Australia on board, results from extensive tests have proved positive.
Ogmore MP Huw Irranca-Davies welcomed the news that could turn the nation’s energy debate on its head.
“I’ve previously visited one of the test drilling sites and everyone involved was full of optimism that there would be massive underground potential for methane gas,” said Mr Irranca-Davies.
“And I’m pleased that Gerwyn, a Llangynwyd boy, seems to have been successful here.
“I would urge him and others to now make progress with their own plans and to make representations to local companies and the Welsh Assembly Government to discuss the immense potential of this energy supply for Wales.
“It’s good to see a local entrepreneur at the forefront of identifying energy sources that can secure affordable energy for our future.”
Mr Williams is involved in many projects aiming to extract energy from old coal mines across the Llynfi and Garw valleys and further afield.
He said: “The beauty of it is when everything is set up all, the pipes will be underground and nobody will know it’s there, unlike wind farms.”
And Mr Williams believes the Pontrhydycyff site could make South Wales self-sufficient in terms of energy, which could be used for homes as well as industry like the nearby Georgia Pacific paper mills, for example.
His plans have ben supported by Llangynwyd Middle Community Council.
by Andrew Harrison, Glamorgan Gazette
7 February 2008
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