Cougar Energy yesterday announced it had begun commissioning on its pilot Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) plant at Kingaroy, Queensland.
The company said the plant was on track to begin production of gas later this month or early-March.
According to Kingaroy site manager Andrew Brown, the company has also completed the recruitment of an operations team for the plant.
“All staff have mobilised to site for an intense period of training and familiarisation ahead of the impending start-up,” he said.
“We are pleased that many of our staff are from the Kingaroy region.”
Brown also said the final tests of coal seam permeability at a new fourth production well, conducted last week, had produced positive results.
“The result increases our confidence that we will have a smooth and successful start-up at Kingaroy,” he said.
Because UCG production is half the cost of natural gas, the company hopes the Kingaroy site will provide competitive base load electricity to the Australian domestic market.
The site will not require materials handling, water treatment or gas transportation facilities, therefore lowering capital expenditure.
The project is awaiting final approval from the Queensland Government.