Coldry plan to prop up brown coal?

Friends of the Earth say plans by Environmental Clean Technologies (ECT) to build a Coldry pellet plant, which will essentially bake brown coal to the water level of black coal, is a desperate attempt to prop up an industry that is environmentally and economically unviable.

MEDIA RELEASE
Friday June 12, 2009

Coldry and plan to prop up brown coal?

Friends of the Earth say plans by Environmental Clean Technologies (ECT) to build a Coldry pellet plant, which will essentially bake brown coal to the water level of black coal, is a desperate attempt to prop up an industry that is environmentally and economically unviable.

‘Based upon ECT’s limited numbers, the efficiency of this plant would be 50% at best, with two tonnes of brown coal only making a tonne or so of brown coal pellets. The energy, resources and costs associated with this process will make such pellets virtually unsellable outside of Victoria, ruling out an export market,’ said Louise Morris, Friends of the Earth, Climate and Coal Campaigner.

‘I think serious questions need to be asked as to whether this pitch by ECT is a real one. ECT are yet to commit to a Coldry plant in the Latrobe Valley and have yet to secure an energy partner to power the plant.’

‘Beyond those questions we need to clear up if there is any link between ECT’s Coldry proposal and the floundering HRL, IDGCC coal fire power plant - that also claims to be able to dry brown coal into so-called ‘clean coal,’’ said Ms Morris

The HRL Ltd proposal was similarly promoted as a jobs provider for the Latrobe Valley, which were dramatically scaled back when Chinese partner, Harbin Electricity, revealed the construction would take place in China. It has also been plagued by uncertainty on location, job numbers, costs and red tape.

“The future lies in renewable energy, which governments and industry the world over recognise as the job rich and viable energy future we need. By continuing to tie Victoria and the Latrobe Valley to the dinosaur that is brown coal we are letting the opportunity to transition to a suit of renewable energy sources pass us by”.

“In perusing smoke and mirror ventures such as the HRL or Coldry proposals we are failing to embrace proven renewable technologies and committing ourselves to a losing strategy with coal” concluded Ms Morris.