24 May 2007
COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT GRANT
White Energy Company Limited (White Energy (ASX: WEC)) today announced its wholly owned subsidiary, Binderless Coal Briquetting Pty Ltd, has been offered a A$4.35 million Commercial Ready innovation grant by AusIndustry.
This grant is significant as it will enable White Energy to fast track the building of a new and enhanced demonstration plant. The new plant will improve White Energy’s testing capabilities and in particular enable it to meet the rapidly growing demand from coal producers and power companies from around the world to process and test feedstock coal through the White Energy process.
White Energy Managing Director, Mr John Atkinson, said: “The cleaner coal technology upgrades high moisture coal into a higher quality, more emission compliant product through a patented protected upgrading process involving the drying and subsequent briquetting of sub-bituminous and lignite coals.
“The grant is a strong endorsement of our patented coal upgrading technology and demonstrates the Government’s focus on cleaner coal technologies as a key platform of future energy policy,” he said.
Today’s announcement follows the announcement made earlier in the month regarding BHP Billiton’s agreement to provide White Energy with a US$35 million seven year unsecured convertible funding facility to accelerate the roll-out of White Energy’s patented coal upgrading technology. As part of the agreement BHP Billiton will act as White Energy’s exclusive global marketing agent.
White Energy currently has joint ventures with PT Bayan Resources, a major coal miner in Indonesia, and the Adaro Group and Itochu Corporation, one of Indonesia’s largest coal companies and a major Japanese trading house respectively to build coal upgrading plants in Indonesia. In addition, White Energy is also working with Datang International Power generation Company in relation to the development of coal upgrading plants on Datangs coal deposits in China.
White Energy is the exclusive worldwide license holder of the binderless coal upgrading process that enhances relatively poor quality coal and significantly increases the coals energy efficiency. The patented process involves the crushing and drying 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.
The White Energy coal upgrading technology was developed by the Commonwealth Scientific Research Organisation (CSIRO) in conjunction with TraDet Inc, K.R. Komarek Inc and The Griffin Coal Mining Company Pty Ltd. Independent tests, by both expert engineers and coal producers, have proven the process to be more cost and operationally efficient than competing technologies. Advantages of the White Energy process involve creating a higher energy value coal; creating a physically and chemically stable product; significantly reducing transportation costs; and creating a higher value energy release with lower carbon emissions.
About the Commercial Ready program:
Commercial Ready is an innovation grant program managed by AusIndustry that provides up to $200 million to Australian businesses each year. The program provides grants ranging from 50,000 to $5 million. Companies can apply for up to 50 per cent of project costs to develop their new product, process or service.
AusIndustry is the Australian Government’s business program delivery division in the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources which is headed by the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP.
For further information contact:
White Energy Company Limited
Tel: + 61 2 9251 1311