Underground coal gasification (UCG) will be banned in Queensland due to its environmental impact, Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham says. There had been only three UCG pilot projects in Queensland — Carbon Energy near Dalby, Cougar Energy near Kingaroy and Linc Energy at Chinchilla. Dr Lynham said no-one had made a success of UCG yet and potential revenue was not worth the environmental risk. “We have looked at the evidence from the pilot operation of UCG and we’ve considered the compatibility of the current technologies with Queensland’s environment and our economic needs,” he said in a statement.
“The potential risks to Queensland’s environment and our valuable agricultural industries far outweigh any potential economic benefits.
Mr Hutton said on Friday that Linc Energy could face up to $56 million in fines if found guilty. But he said the penalty might never be paid, as going into administration was a common legal manoeuvre to dodge fines and costly clean-ups.
Note – not so long ago, UCG was said to be a favoured option in Gippsland, just shallow drilling into upper layer brown coal!!