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Australia's Carbon Energy Establishes Underground Coal Gasification Research Centre in China

Australia's Carbon Energy Limited in conjunction with China University of Mining and Technology (CUMT) has set up Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) research centre in China.

The centre was officially opened on April 24, 2016 in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province. Carbon Energy has two representatives on the governing body of the CUMT International Research Centre for Underground Coal Gasification.

Carbon said the centre has been established to develop the highest standards for China's growing UCG industry. The centre has established a technical advisory committee consisting of a panel experts renowned for their industry, academic and scientific achievements, and includes the previous Chief Scientist of Australia, Professor Robin Batterham.

The company believes establishment of the centre is an important step forward in the advancement of its expansion plans in China. Carbon has a joint venture with Beijing JinHong Investment Co. Ltd to develop a vertically integrated gas business.

Queensland ban on UCG

Expansion in fast growing China market makes sense for Carbon Energy as it faces severe pressure from authorities and environmental group in its home country.

Last month, the Queensland government said it has moved to ban UCG because of its environmental impact.

State Development Minister and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) Anthony Lynham announced the immediate ban and committed to introducing a legislated ban before the end of the year.

“We have looked at the evidence from the pilot-operation of UCG and we've considered the compatibility of the current technologies with Queensland's environment and our economic needs. The potential risks to Queensland's environment and our valuable agricultural industries far outweigh any potential economic benefits,” Lynham said while announcing the decision on April 18. “The ban applies immediately as government policy, and I will introduce legislation to the Parliament by the end of the year to make it law.”

Brisbane based Carbon Energy which has invested $150 million in developing the UCG technology responded to the decision by stating that “this new position has come as a surprise to the company who only recently had discussions with several ministerial staff including staff from the DNRM regarding the next steps in relation to the successful completion of the Independent Scientific Panel (ISP) technology process.”

In its activities report published Friday the company stated, "While the importance of our Bloodwood Creek project to Carbon Energy is clear, our business is now far broader than UCG in Queensland. This is a fact attested to by the valuation attributed by accounting firm PwC of up to $40 million to our JinHong JV Technology Licence Agreements for China alone."

Carbon's board and management is working to protect the value of the Queensland assets and has requested meetings with the Premier and responsible ministers to seek explanations for the ban, the company added.

Underground coal gasification involves converting coal to a synthesised gas by burning coal underground.

This post first appeared on Natural Gas Asia - Asia's Unconventional Gas And O, please read the originial post: here

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Australia's Carbon Energy Establishes Underground Coal Gasification Research Centre in China


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