Victoria's brown coal a new export industry

VICTORIAN high moisture brown coal resources in the La Trobe valley could be converted into an export business to countries including India and Japan using new technology that reduces emissions.
Victoria's brown coal a new export industry Victoria's brown coal a new export industry Victoria's brown coal a new export industry Victoria's brown coal a new export industry Victoria's brown coal a new export industry

The plant at the Beaconsfield mine in Tasmania

Lou Caruana

Australian company Exergen is now bidding for 1 billion tonnes of brown coal for both export and local supply, with shareholders including India's Tata Power and Japan's Itoshu, according to the 7.30 Report.

Exergen is trialling technology for the La Trobe at the Beaconsfield coal mine in Tasmania, where brown coal slurry is dumped down a heated one kilometre shaft to extract 80% of moisture content, and so slash greenhouse emissions.

“I think what's more important is there's more technologies now that can unlock the value that's in the La Trobe Valley, and it literally is hundreds and hundreds of years and billions and billions of dollars,” Exergen chief executive Trevor Bourne told the ABC.

The Victorian government is also keen to promote the export of coal from the La Trobe Valley, which has traditionally been used for domestic power generation.

“It's a resource that if we can find a way to use with reduced emissions, then that's a benefit to Victoria and a benefit to the Victorian and Australian economy,” Victorian premier Ted Baillieu said.

“We have an enormous resource in Victoria, and we ought to be looking at ways to use that resource.”

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