BCIA Latest News

Low Rank Coal Symposium
The second International Symposium on the Sustainable Use of Low Rank Coal was held in Melbourne in April.

Organised by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI), the Symposium was held over three days with presentations on global perspectives including policy, finance and investment, regulatory issues, community engagement and other topics of interest to the low rank coal industry.

BCIA was a major supporter of the Symposium, and provided sponsorship for the industry networking event and the Young Energy Professionals (YEP) Program. The YEP Program provided great networking and professional development opportunities over the three days for the next generation of young energy professionals.

The Symposium was opened by DPI Secretary, Jeff Rosewarne, and followed with a keynote address from the Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources, Michael O’Brien. Minister O’Brien announced that the Department of Primary Industries will undertake a market assessment to determine the appetite of industry and the market for a Coal Tender Process.

Senior executives from major low rank coal producer and user regions provided a snapshot of their current industry status, and identified future challenges and opportunities for their respective regions. Leading experts also presented on the technological developments to drive a low emissions future for the industry.

Speaking on day two of the Symposium, BCIA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Phil Gurney, presented on the future of research and development projects and technologies utilising Victorian brown coal.

Over 300 local and international delegates attended the Symposium, representing 23 countries – attendance double that of the first Symposium held in 2010. The Symposium is held biennial and provides a forum for an exchange of information and promoting awareness of the issues faced by the low rank coal industry.

Above: Victoria Minister for Energy & Resources, Michael O'Brien addresses delegates at the Low Rank Coal Symposium
New Faces at BCIA
BCIA welcomed two new members to the team in February. Dr David McManus replaced David Harburger as the new Research Investment Manager and Kirstyn Krausz is the new Membership Support Manager.

David is a chemical engineer with more than 20 years of experience in industrial R&D, and a passion for translating research into commercial reality. He has held a number of senior executive positions in Australian research organisations throughout his career; most recently as CEO of Nutrifina, a specialist R&D company within the ICM Australia group.

David’s role is to manage BCIA’s portfolio of research projects and skills development program. To do this, he needs to understand the details of research taking place within universities, CSIRO and industry, ensure that the projects remain on track, and communicate progress to stakeholders including the BCIA board, BCIA supporting members, the State and Federal governments, and the general public.

“BCIA has a total of 20 projects, so there has been a lot to take in to really understand these projects. What strikes me most is the passion and commitment shown by the researchers to tackle the challenge of reducing the greenhouse gas footprint of Victoria’s power generators. There is some very exciting work going on, and I feel fortunate to be involved.

“I love having a direct involvement with the researchers and their sophisticated equipment but, equally, it is good to be able to see how each of the projects fits into a bigger picture. My role gives me a unique and exciting perspective, which I hope I will be able to effectively communicate,” he said.

Kirstyn has almost 10 years’ experience in the brown coal industry having worked for a major Victorian power generator and brown coal mine, Loy Yang Power.

During Kirstyn’s career she has held a number of roles assisting high level management, Board and CEOs and playing a critical part of a team in providing strong organisational and communication skills with a track record in event management.

Kirstyn’s main role as Membership Support Manager will be to manage BCIA’s membership benefit programs.

“I am enjoying the challenges of this new role and working as part of the small team. As this is a new position in BCIA, I think that my skills and knowledge in the brown coal industry will be of great benefit in this role.

“I think it is also important for BCIA to have a presence near Victoria’s major brown coal resource in the Latrobe Valley. As I live in Warragul it makes it easy for me to work out of both the Melbourne and Morwell offices,” she said.

Both David and Kirstyn will work out of BCIA’s Melbourne office, with Kirstyn also working 1-2 days from the Latrobe Valley office located at PowerWorks in Morwell.

For more information on David and Kirstyn, view
BCIA's management profiles.