Francis Logan

Francis Logan

Minister for Energy; Resources; Industry and Enterprise

    Collie coal - perfectly suited for low-emission energy

    21/02/2008 12:00 AM

    The development of clean coal technology has taken a major step forward in Western Australia following the successful international testing of the gasification of Collie coal.

    Energy, Resources and Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan today announced that coal from Collie was one of the most suitable coals for gasification in Australia.

    Coal gasification uses oxygen at high pressures to break coal into several components, such as hydrogen and carbon monoxide that can be used as a fuel instead of burning coal.

    It is one of the most attractive options for low emissions power generation, combined with carbon capture and storage, or geosequestration.

    Mr Logan said the results gave credence to the idea of using clean coal technologies in power generation and proved that WA could be at the forefront of its development.

    “I am very pleased with the results of the gasification potential of Collie’s coal,” he said.

    “Coal gasification offers one of the most versatile and clean ways to convert coal into electricity and other valuable energy and chemical products.

    “The significance is that we are moving towards viewing coal as a box of chemicals that can provide multiple benefits, rather than purely as a black feedstock for power generation.

    “This study allows the State to progress with its commitment to look at clean coal technology as one of the State’s power generation methods and the initiative of Collie-Wellington MLA Mick Murray and the Coal Futures Group in funding this research will benefit Collie and WA for many years to come.”

    The research was undertaken by the CRC for Coal in Sustainable Development (CCSD) through its participant, CSIRO Energy Technology, in Brisbane. Part of the study was conducted at the Siemens Gasification Test Facility in Freiberg, Germany.

    CCSD chief executive officer Frank van Schagen said the outcomes of the study were very significant for Australia’s coal future.

    “Australia now has a world-class centre of gasification research capability, which works closely with international research and technology development organisations,” Mr van Schagen said.

    “Facilities and expertise now exist which allow measurement and interpretation of fundamental aspects of the coal gasification process, as well as application of these findings to coal performance in large-scale systems.

    “We appreciate the contribution of all our sponsors, but in particular we congratulate the Coal Futures Group and Verve Energy, who recognised the potential of Collie coal to lead in the development of new technologies.”

    Mr Murray, who is chairman of the Coal Futures Group, said Collie was poised for an exciting future.

    “This study proves that we can meet the world’s large and ever increasing energy demand, while capitalising on Collie’s natural resources in an environmentally friendly way,” Mr Murray said.

    “The use of clean coal technology ensures everyone wins.”

    Mr Logan also congratulated the work of the Coal Futures Group for their contribution to cleaner coal technology and increasing coal exports.

    “The Coal Futures Group is making a significant contribution towards the future of Collie and the coal industry,” he said.

    “The State Government made a commitment to the coal industry and the work of the Coal Futures Group is ensuring this commitment is met and met over and beyond expectations.”

    A summary of the gasification study done on Collie coal is available at or .

    Minister's Office - 9222 8950