Colliery inertisation system unveiled in South Africa


South Africa, ranked as the seventh largest producer of coal in 2008, now has a revolutionary method of extinguishing fires in underground coal mines, courtesy of Air Liquide.

The new Colliery Inertisation System (CIS), or Floxal membrane nitrogen plant as it is also known, was unveiled in Secunda on 10th March 2010.

A world-first as it is completely mobile and operates with its own integral power generator, the plant cost R22m to develop and was commissioned by the Collieries Committee of the Chamber of Mines. It will be used primarily in the inertisation of combustible environments during underground coal fires.

The plant be stationed at the Colliery Training Centre in Witbank that is centrally located in the coal production region of Mpumalanga and can be deployed within hours, depending on the distance and accessibility to the site of the underground fire.

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