Linc Energy’s UCG plant at Chinchilla … the company has gone into voluntary administration to avoid costly fines and clean-up costs, environmental activists say (Photo: Linc Energy)
Stephen Longley (Photo: PPB Advisory)

April 17, 2016

Troubled UCG company Linc Energy announced on Friday that it has appointed administrators to determine the future of the company.

In two statements to the ASX, Linc advised it had appointed Stephen Longley, Grant Sparks and Martin Ford, of PPB Advisory, as administrators, effective April 15.

“The Administrators are working with the company’s management team to fully understand the options available to the company, which may potentially include a restructure of the company at an appropriate time,” a statement to the ASX said.

“After receiving legal and financial advice and considering all of the current commercial prospects available to the company to successfully complete a financial restructure of the business within a limited timeframe, the Board of Linc Energy made the decision that it was in the best interests of the company to enter into voluntary administration at this time,” a later statement concluded.

The decision to enter voluntary administration follows a troubled few months for the company, which includes a string of investors bailing out and a halt to share trading.

A month ago, Linc Energy was committed to face trial in the District Court on five charges relating to alleged breaches of Queensland environmental legislation linked to its underground coal gasification site near Chinchilla.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection alleges Linc wilfully caused serious harm by allowing gases created from the UCG process at its Hopeland site to contaminate nearby soil.

In March, the Dalby Magistrates Court ruled the five charges should be heard in the District Court.

In a statement afterwards, a Linc Energy spokesman said the company was disappointed with the ruling, claiming the DEHP’s case had “glaring holes”.

The decision to enter administration also follows news that local landholders have been planning to take a group civil action against the company.

Lock The Gate spokesman Drew Hutton accused Linc Energy of trying to avoid fines and a costly clean-up.

“It is going to be difficult to get any money out of this company now that it is in administration,” he told the ABC at the weekend.

Linc Energy also has oil and gas interests in the Unites States (Alaska, Texas, Louisiana and Wyoming), shale oil and gas exploration interests in South Australia, and owns and operates the world’s longest running commercial UCG operation in Uzbekistan.

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