Coal project to generate more than 100 jobs in the Latrobe Valley

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Open cut brown coal mine at Loy Yang Image credit: flickr User: Marcus Wong

Federal Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane and Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources Russell Northe have announced a third coal project designed to deliver cleaner fuel, jobs and investment to the Latrobe Valley.

Open cut brown coal mine at Loy Yang Image credit: flickr User: Marcus Wong
Open cut brown coal mine at Loy Yang
Image credit: flickr User: Marcus Wong

As part of the project, China’s Shanghai Electric Australia Power & Energy Development Pty Limited (SEAPED) have been awarded $25 million to develop a $119 million demonstration plant at the AGL-owned Loy Yang A Power Station in the Latrobe Valley.

According to the media release by the Premier of Victoria, the plant will upgrade brown coal in a way that is more efficient, generates fewer emissions and provides strong export potential.

“Victoria is home to one of the world’s largest brown coal reserves and this joint investment will enable the development of new smarter, cleaner and sustainable uses for this important resource,” Mr Northe said.

He said the project was one of the three funded under the 50:50 State-Commonwealth Advanced Lignite Demonstration Program (ALDP) and could attract significant investments in the broader Gippsland region.

“SEAPED expects that more than 100 jobs could be created during construction and up to 40 jobs during the project’s operation,” he said.

Mr Northe said SEAPED had conducted pilot scale testing in China on Loy Yang coal, which showed a significant reduction in emissions.

“China has encouraged SEAPED to secure a clean, efficient, stable and secure fuel supply for the company’s coal fired assets,” Mr Northe said.

“The project being announced today is about making progress towards clean ways of capitalising on this rich resource and securing a bright future for the Latrobe Valley and its community.”

Federal Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane said the ALDP projects presented a great opportunity to secure a sustainable future for Victoria’s brown coal reserves.

“This program is designed to accelerate the development of new technologies to drive new industries and make a significant economic contribution to the State,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Brown coal has a long history of providing significant employment and investment opportunities and delivering reliable and affordable power. This program will contribute to new ways for the industry to support the local economy and create jobs.”

The first two advanced coal projects were awarded to Coal Energy Australia, which has been granted $30 million for the development of a $143 million demonstration plant producing fertiliser, oil and high value coal used in steelmaking, and Ignite Energy Resources, which received $20 million for the development of an $84.3 million pre-commercial plant producing upgraded coal products for local or export markets and synthetic oil which can be refined into fuel sources such as diesel and petrol.