Linc Energy’s UCG plant at Chinchilla … the company went into voluntary administration in April this year after being slammed by Environment Minister Steven Miles for creating “the biggest pollution event probably in Queensland’s history” (Photo: Linc Energy)

November 8, 2016

Underground coal gasification (UCG) will be banned in Queensland under legislation introduced in State Parliament on Tuesday.

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said amendments to the Mineral Resources Act 1989 would prohibit UCG in Queensland.

“The Government has carefully considered the results of trials at two UCG pilot projects undertaken to establish the commercial and environmental viability of this potential industry,” Dr Lynham said.

“The Government has concluded that with the potential impacts of UCG activities and the issues associated with the trial projects to date, the risks of allowing UCG projects to grow to commercial scale are not acceptable and outweigh the foreseeable benefits.

“Accordingly, the Government has decided not to allow the development of a commercial-scale UCG industry in Queensland.”

The ban will also apply to the on site underground gasification of oil shale.

“Prohibiting these activities gives certainty to industry and the broader community,” Dr Lynham said.

Dr Lynham said the legislation also provided for the necessary work involved in decommissioning Queensland’s remaining existing UCG pilot project, Carbon Energy’s plant near Dalby.

Other former UCG plants – Cougar Energy’s plant at Kingaroy and Linc Energy’s plant at Chinchilla – have already been decommissioned.

Regulation and monitoring of UCG decommissioning and rehabilitation activities are being undertaken by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

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