The Australian Coal Association (ACA) has welcomed the announcement of a new black coal Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) by Industry, Science and Resources Minister Senator Minchin. The centre will be headquartered at the Advanced Technology centre at Pinjarra Hills, Brisbane.
ACA chairman Tony Haraldson said: “The CRC deal is a critical one for our industry. Coal is coming under increasing pressue in the debate about sustainable development and greenhouse. It shows the government understands the importance of coal for Australia’s long-term future.”
Haraldson said the black coal industry faced significant challenges to continue to improve environmental performance and better understand and communicate its long term role as a crucial source of energy, and as a key input into steel making.
“We see the decision as a statement of support for an industry which is vitally important for our economy, and which is working hard to respond positively to the environmental challenges.
“Because of its low cost, ease of transport and availability worldwide, coal will continue to underpin the generation of electricity and the production of steel for many decades,” Haraldson said.
He added that as Australia’s leading commodity export, worth $9 billion a year, coal would continue to be a major source of export income.
The objectives of the CRC are to improve the understanding of the place of coal in the transition to sustainable development in a changing world, through responsive and collaborative research, technology transfer, and education and training. The CRC would conduct scientific research to improve the environmental performance of current technologies, reduce the risk inherent in adopting emerging clean coal technologies, and identify appropriate transition paths and support the development of policies for future coal use,
Participants in the new CRC, include the Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP), BHP, Griffin Coal Mining Company, Peabody Resources, Rio Tinto and Wesfarmers. Generators involved are CS Energy, Delta Electricity, Tarong Energy, and Western Power. Researchers are CSIRO Energy Technology, Curting University of Technology, University of Newcastle, University of New South Wales, and University of Queensland. Others are the Queensland Department of Mines and Energy, ACIRL, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (Japan) and IHI Co, Japan.