White Energys Successful Production of Upgraded Coal at Cessnock Plantadmin
Thursday, August 14th 2008
White Energy Company Limited confirmed that it has successfully produced upgraded coal at its binderless coal briquetting plant at Cessnock, New South Wales.
Having completed construction eight weeks ago, key elements of the commissioning phase are now finalised with all relevant certifications for running the Plant being received at the end of last week. At the beginning of this week, the drying furnace was fired allowing us to run feedstock coal through the process. The Plant operated exactly as expected with upgraded coal being produced to specification.
White Energy’s Managing Director Mr. John Atkinson says, “Producing upgraded coal from White Energy’s Cessnock Plant represents a significant milestone for the Company. We are delighted that the Cessnock Plant is now operational. Our focus now turns to utilising the Cessnock facility to work with a range of feedstock coals to be provided by existing and potential partners to produce upgraded, high energy coal in sufficient quantity to enable meaningful combustion tests and trial burns of White Coal.”
In this regard we plan to upgrade a number of coals at Cessnock in the next few months. This will include the processing of extremely high moisture (approximately 65%) brown coal from the Latrobe Valley in Victoria.
The design and construction of the Cessnock Plant is representative of the design and construction process required for the one million tonne per annum commercial plant currently being built by White Energy, in joint venture with Bayan International Pte Ltd, at Tabang, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. The commissioning process at Cessnock has already provided invaluable practical experience for the Company ahead of completing the Tabang plant.
The Cessnock Plant is White Energy’s premier production, testing and showcase facility in Australia. It has an installed capacity of 90,000 tonnes per annum. The Plant uses White Energy’s licensed and patented process to upgrade sub-bituminous coal into a higher energy, more stable, cleaner burning coal briquette. The upgraded product can be transported and handled like normal coal, but has significant transportation cost benefits, combustion advantages and, importantly, is a cleaner fuel from an emissions perspective when compared to the burning of traditional thermal coal.
White Energy is the exclusive worldwide license holder of the Binderless Coal Briquetting process that upgrades relatively poor quality coal to significantly increase its energy efficiency. The process was developed by Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in conjunction with TraDet Inc, K.R. Komarek Inc and The Griffin Coal Mining Company Pty Ltd. The patented process involves the crushing, drying and briquetting of high moisture coals, resulting in the reduction of the moisture content of the coal and converting the product into a higher energy content, stable product whilst maintaining the low sulphur, low ash characteristics of the feedstock coal. The process has been shown to be cost and operationally superior to competing technologies and represents a first step in building a cleaner coal solution.
White Energy is in the process of commercializing this technology and is currently constructing a one million tonne per annum plant in Indonesia in joint venture with PT Bayan Resources. The Company also has a joint venture agreement with the Adaro Group, one of Indonesia’s largest coal companies, and Itochu Corporation, a major Japanese trading house, to build additional coal upgrading plants in Indonesia. Further, White Energy has signed a Heads of Agreement with Datang International Power Generation Company in relation to the development of coal upgrading plants in China and is currently completing financial feasibility on this project. Most recently, the Company has entered into a development agreement with NRG Energy Inc. and Buckskin Mining Inc. in respect of a potential project in the coal rich Powder River Basin area of the USA. Again, final feasibility work is being completed in respect of this project. In addition to these projects, the company is actively reviewing a number of other opportunities in the markets mentioned and is also considering proposals to deploy its technology in other markets such as India, Mongolia and Africa.