23 November 2018
Leigh Creek Energy no longer doing Energy at Leigh Creek
Leigh Creek Energy, the company behind the controversial trial of Underground Coal Gasification at Leigh Creek, has abandoned the pursuit of gas or electricity from the project, prompting the state's peak environment body to again call on Minister Dan Van Holst Pellekaan to rule out granting a commercial licence for the project.
"This project is lurching from one change to another," said Conservation SA Chief Executive Craig Wilkins.
"Last week, they had to put their trial on hold following technical challenges with syngas production.
"This week they have abandoned what was originally the main purpose for the project in the first place: producing energy.
"Now it seems they are looking to convert the syngas into ammonia. Yet, ammonia can be sourced from clean, renewable energy,
rather than highly toxic and dangerous Underground Coal Gasification," he said.
UCG (or in situ gasification) involves setting fire to underground coal to extract gas. In April 2016, the Queensland Government legally banned UCG after the worst contamination event in that state’s history at the Hopeland Linc Energy plant (Chinchilla).
"This increasingly looks like a project in a desperate search for a reason to exist," Mr Wilkins said.
"With no social license, ongoing technical struggles, and now a complete lurch in their business case, it is time for Minister Dan Van
Holst Pellekaan to make it very clear that this project will never achieve a commercial license."
For further comment, contact Craig Wilkins 0417 879 439