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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

3 February 2006

$2.2 million in Australian Government funding for cleaner coal technology


Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today announced $2.2 million funding for a project to help the development of a new technology that could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from brown coal.

The Mechanical Thermal Expression (MTE) pilot plant will be constructed at Loy Yang power generating plant in Victoria. The MTE technology is based on the concept of pre-drying the coal before its use as a fuel in boilers.

This project is a joint venture between the Australian Government, the Victorian Government and industry.

“This project illustrates the Australian Government’s commitment to developing new clean technologies to reduce the greenhouse impact of meeting our energy needs,” Senator Campbell said.

“Coal fired power stations contribute significantly to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, for example, Hazelwood Power Station pumps out 16.9 million tonnes of greenhouse gases a year.

“Developments such as the MTE technology are important to our efforts to clean up our use of coal for producing energy.”

The funding for the project has been provided under the Australian Government’s flagship programme for reducing greenhouse emissions, the Greenhouse Gas Abatement Programme. This is one of many projects funded under the programme which will deliver long-term greenhouse and other environmental benefits in Australia.

Senator Campbell congratulated the Victorian Government for its contribution to the project.

“This cooperative arrangement sets a new benchmark for the industry and government in pursuing solutions to the greenhouse issue. This project is of particular significance for Victoria as the vast majority of Victoria’s electricity needs is met by using brown coal.

“We recognise the impacts of meeting our energy needs on the environment and we are investing heavily in developing and commercialising new clean technologies to minimise these impacts.”

The construction of the pilot plant is scheduled to commence in May 2006 and the overall project will conclude in mid 2007.

Media Contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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