White starts production at Cessnock plant

CLEAN coal developer White Energy this morning confirmed it had successfully produced upgraded coal at its binderless coal briquetting plant at Cessnock in New South Wales.

Angie Tomlinson

The Cessnock plant is White Energy’s premier production, testing and showcase facility in Australia with an installed capacity of 90,000 tonnes per annum.


The plant uses White’s patented process to upgrade sub-bituminous coal into a higher energy, more stable, cleaner burning coal briquette.


The upgraded product can be transported and handled like normal coal, but has transportation cost benefits, combustion advantages and is a cleaner fuel from an emissions perspective when compared to the burning of traditional thermal coal.


White completed construction of the plant eight weeks ago and finalised commissioning and received certifications at the end of last week.


At the beginning of this week the drying furnace was fired allowing operators to run feedstock coal through the process.


The company said the plant operated exactly as expected with upgraded coal being produced to specification.


“Our focus now turns to utilising the Cessnock facility to work with a range of feedstock coals to be provided by existing and potential partners to produce upgraded, high energy coal in sufficient quantity to enable meaningful combustion tests and trial burns of White coal,” White managing director John Atkinson said.


The company plans to upgrade a number of coals at Cessnock in the next few months, including the processing of extremely high moisture (approximately 65%) brown coal from the Latrobe Valley in Victoria.


The design and construction of the Cessnock plant is representative of the design and construction process required for the 1Mtpa commercial plant currently being built by White Energy, in joint venture with Bayan International, at Tabang, East Kalimantan, Indonesia.


White said the commissioning process at Cessnock had provided invaluable practical experience ahead of completing the Tabang plant.


White Energy was trading at $A3.30 this morning.