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(21 April 2017)
Latrobe Valley coal and energy executive to head research company
|Media release: Latrobe Valley coal and energy executive to head research company |
|Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced the appointment of well-known Victorian coal and energy sector executive, Brian Davey, as the Company’s new Chief Executive. Mr Davey has more than 30 years’ experience across various industry sectors including operations, financial management, marketing and technology and is a long-term resident of the Latrobe Valley.|
Mr Davey also has a strong track record in innovation, research and project management having developed and implemented various advanced coal technology programs for the Victorian Government over the course of nearly a decade. After leaving the public service four years ago, he worked as a consultant supporting several international clients to advance lignite projects in India and Indonesia.
BCIA Chair, Gerry Morvell, welcomed the appointment of Mr Davey and said the Board was delighted to have attracted an outstanding candidate with detailed knowledge of the Latrobe Valley coal and energy sectors. “Significantly, Mr Davey shares the Board’s vision of an alternative low-emissions future for Victoria’s world-class carbon resource, together with skills development opportunities for the Valley matched to future industry needs.”
Mr Davey began his career with the former State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV) in the Latrobe Valley and, following privatisation of the Commission, was appointed to a senior management role for one of the newly created private energy companies. He was most recently employed by Regional Development Victoria as a trade and investment specialist to assist companies impacted by the closure of Hazelwood power station.
Mr Davey said: “There are a number of emerging technologies which offer significant potential to transform Latrobe Valley lignite into a range of environmentally responsible products – including low-emissions power, carbon fibres and polymers, fertilisers and building products. I am delighted that this new role provides such an enormous opportunity to positively shape a strong, sustainable future for the Latrobe Valley.”
(14 February 2017)
BCIA funds Victoria’s first 24/7 capable CO2 capture facility for brown coal power generation
|Media release: Community forum hears progress and opportunities for Valley's future beyond Hazelwood|
|Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) tonight showcased progress in emerging technologies which offer significant potential to transform Latrobe Valley brown coal into a range of environmentally responsible products – including low-emissions power, carbon fibres and polymers, fertilisers and building products.|
Strong interest saw about 100 people attend BCIA’s third community forum in Traralgon including local residents and business owners together with representatives of environment and sustainability groups; business, regional development and industry associations; research and education institutes and local and State politicians.
BCIA Chief Executive, Dr Phil Gurney, said: “It is really heartening to see such strong community interest in securing a sustainable future for Victoria’s world-class brown coal resource.”
BCIA launched a comprehensive report at the forum detailing the outcomes from its research program, and showing the way to a range of prospective new industries based around the vast resource in the Latrobe Valley. The report, ‘Positioning brown coal for a low-emissions future’, details the research, technologies and opportunities associated with the sustainable use of brown coal and covers the work undertaken by BCIA and its partner organisations during recent years.
“The planned decommissioning of Hazelwood is a stark reminder that unless we all do more to invest in making a future for the Latrobe Valley, including supporting the development of environmentally responsible uses of coal, it’s not going to happen,” said Dr Gurney.
(4 August 2014)
Research trial shows Direct Injection Carbon Engine (DICE) project on track to reduced brown coal emissions
|Media release: Research trial shows Direct Injection Carbon Engine project on track to reduced brown coal emissions |
|Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced higher energy efficiency levels were achieved for the conversion of brown coal to electricity in a prototype direct injection carbon engine during recent laboratory tests.|
The research results indicate the CSIRO-led Direct Injection Carbon Engine (DICE) project is on track to achieve a step-change in fuel cycle efficiency. State-of-the art brown coal power plant technology could reduce emissions from Victoria’s existing power stations by 30 per cent. As a distributed generation option, DICE has the potential to considerably exceed this, cutting emissions at a much lower capital and operating cost.
BCIA Chief Executive, Dr Phil Gurney, said: “The advanced technology DICE program is one of more than 30 BCIA research projects spearheading Australia’s efforts to deliver more sustainable energy from brown coal, reducing carbon emissions from coal-fired power and cutting the cost of carbon capture technologies.
“Importantly, DICE can turn on and off rapidly, allowing it to be used to back up intermittent energy sources such as solar power. DICE can be implemented as a small-scale distributed power generation option. These capabilities can enable DICE to provide low cost, low emissions option that delivers grid security while enabling a more complimentary approach with renewable technologies.”
(16 July 2015)
BCIA funds Victoria’s first 24/7 capable CO2 capture facility for brown coal power generation
|Media release: BCIA funds Victoria’s first 24/7 capable CO2 capture facility for brown coal power generation |
|Project backgrounder: BCIA funds Victoria’s first 24/7 capable CO2 capture facility for brown coal power generation|
|Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced funding for a research and development project which will target significantly reduced carbon emissions from brown coal power generation in Victoria and throughout the world.|
The project, selected in BCIA’s 2013/14 competitive R&D funding round, also aims to slash the capital and operational costs for large-scale carbon capture plants; arguably the greatest challenge facing global deployment of carbon capture for fossil fuel power generation.
BCIA has received multi-million dollar funding from the Victorian Government and the Australian Government via a relationship agreement with Australia National Low Emissions Coal R&D (ANLEC R&D). The ANLEC R&D relationship agreement provides for BCIA to manage ANLEC R&D’s brown coal energy research portfolio.
Today BCIA announced $650,000 awarded towards a research project which will combine CSIRO CO2 capture innovation with that of major Japanese technology vendor; IHI Corporation. The project targets a 40 per cent reduction in the energy usage of current plant post combustion capture (PCC) processes for Victorian brown coal-fired power plants. Capturing CO2 requires significant power and consequently increases energy costs. There are currently about 25 pilot-scale PCC processes operating throughout the world seeking to reduce this energy penalty.
BCIA Chief Executive, Dr Phil Gurney, said: “This research project is targeting a 40 per cent reduction in energy use of current post combustion capture (PCC) processes and will see the installation of a $1 M Japanese-built PCC pilot plant at AGL Loy Yang Power station; the first in Victoria to operate around the clock. The expected reduction in energy usage – as targeted by this project – would lead to significant savings in the cost of energy supplied to the consumer compared to implementing carbon capture using first-generation PCC plant."
(28 April 2014)
$12M low emissions lignite R&D to power Victoria’s economy
|Media release: $12M low emissions lignite R&D to power Victoria’s economy |
|Project backgrounder: $12M low emissions lignite R&D to power Victoria’s economy|
|Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced funding for five research and development projects which will target improved efficiency and significantly reduced carbon emissions from brown coal power generation in Victoria and throughout the world."|
Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources Russell Northe said “Victoria has a great opportunity to capitalise on projects such as this with its abundant reserves of brown coal which, with the right measures in place for making brown coal an efficient and sustainable industry, has great potential for boosting the economy.”
“That is why the Victorian Government is supporting and investing in projects that can deliver real outcomes for innovating the industry, creating jobs and delivering a sustainable energy source for future demand,” Mr Northe said.
BCIA Chief Executive, Dr Phil Gurney, said: “Our 2013/14 R&D funding round demonstrates there is substantial international and domestic commercial interest in securing a sustainable future for Victoria’s vast and unique brown coal resource; one of the largest and lowest cost lignite coal resources to be found anywhere in the world.
(12 December 2013)
Industry earmarks $8.4M to fast-track lignite low-emissions power
|Industry earmarks $8.4M to fast-track lignite low-emissions power|
|Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced international and Australian-based companies had earmarked nearly $8.4 million in industry funds for research and development to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the efficiency of low-emissions brown coal power generation.|
BCIA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Phil Gurney, said “The private sector response to our third competitive research and development funding round has far outstripped expectation and demonstrates the depth of industry commitment to achieving a sustainable future for brown coal-fired power as part of Australia’s future energy mix.”
“Significantly, the industry funds pledged to low-emissions brown coal R&D shows the strength of commercial interest in technology innovation that will improve the efficiency of brown coal-fired power while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions,” Dr Gurney said. “This is evidence of an industry prepared to invest in a brighter future for brown coal.”
BCIA received 18 research project applications seeking to secure a slice of the more than $3.5 million in R&D funding on offer. The research proposals will now be assessed by the BCIA Research Advisory Committee and the BCIA Board; successful projects are expected to be announced in the first half of next year following the execution of research agreements.
The actual total of industry funds contracted to low-emissions brown coal research and development will be determined by which project proposals are ultimately awarded BCIA funding. However, as project participants are required to at least match the level of funding provided by BCIA, it is expected that total industry funds will exceed the BCIA funding on offer.
Nearly 40 international and Australian-based companies, ranging from large multinationals to medium-sized enterprises, have committed to participate in the current research round. The project proposals cover a broad spectrum of research themes ranging from the utilisation of renewable energy to significantly improve the efficiency of brown coal combustion, to the evaluation of novel brown coal drying processes and next generation carbon capture technologies.
For its third competitive funding round, BCIA sought R&D projects that are technically ‘excellent’, that can achieve demonstrable improvements in efficiency and profitability and will accelerate the deployment of greenhouse gas reduction technologies. Dr Gurney said: “An important consequence of the strong industry interest and the large number of research projects submitted is the breadth and calibre of the research proposed.”
(6 December 2013)
Victoria has huge potential for development of chemicals from brown coal
|Victoria has huge potential for development of chemicals from brown coal|
|China is likely to play a critical role in disseminating new technologies for the conversion of lignite coals to chemicals, gaseous and liquid fuels according to an IEA Clean Coal Centre report launched today at a Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) research seminar in Melbourne.|
IEA Clean Coal Centre General Manager, Dr Andrew Minchener - author of the report - told the seminar: “China has a major government backed coal-conversion development and deployment program. Building on new technologies from a strategic R&D program, coal-to-chemicals processes are set to become a significant, large scale commercial element in China’s economy. Victoria’s world-class brown coal deposits also provide major opportunities for the deployment of large scale coal gasification technologies that could convert brown coal to fertilisers, liquid fuels and fine chemicals.”
Dr Minchener delivered the keynote address ‘Coal gasification for chemicals, gaseous and liquid fuels in Asia’ at the BCIA seminar. Dr Minchener said: “While today South Africa has established the world’s only commercial scale coal to liquids facilities, China’s activities are growing rapidly. It can also provide the technical expertise and financially underpin coal conversion projects, including associated infrastructure needs, in other countries.”
Dr Minchener told the audience of more than 130 Australian and international delegates at the BCIA seminar: “Coal gasification can fulfil an important strategic need in countries where coal is the primary fuel source and oil and gas energy security is an issue.” Dr Minchener’s report shows several Australian-based companies are exploring coal conversion projects in developing countries including Mongolia, China, Vietnam, Turkey and the Ukraine.
(13 November 2013)
American-Australian partnership signals strong international investment in low-emissions lignite
|American-Australian partnership signals strong international investment in low-emissions lignite|
|Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced it is partnering with the renowned North American Lignite Energy Council to foster and exchange research and development focused on reducing carbon emissions and increasing the efficiency of lignite coal conversion industries in both countries.|
The reciprocal membership arrangement between BCIA and the Lignite Energy Council, based in Bismarck, North Dakota, will enable the two organisations to “harness their complementary resources and expertise” to further develop and support opportunities for collaboration in low-emissions brown coal utilisation.
Lignite Energy Council President and Chief Executive Officer, Jason Bohrer, announced the membership agreement with BCIA following a rigorous review of international R&D organisations. “We were studying international R&D groups that we could partner with in order to leverage the benefits of our R&D program,” said Mr Bohrer.
(17 September 2013)
Research scholarships to foster Australia's future scientists
|2013 PhD scholarships|
Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced support funding for up to ten postgraduate research scholarships focused on innovation in the development of brown coal low-emissions technologies.
The prestigious awards will develop the nation's future scientists and are part of BCIA's strategic investment in skills development to secure the scientific and engineering expertise required for the development of new low emissions brown coal technologies.
BCIA Chief Executive, Dr Phil Gurney, said: "BCIA’s PhD research scholarship program is a significant component of our investment in leading – edge research and development that will underpin Australia’s capacity to tackle environmental challenges associated with the utilisation of brown coal."
BCIA research scholarship recipients demonstrate the wealth of emerging talent in Australia’s scientific community and have the capacity to make a significant contribution to the nation’s scientific standing in low-emissions utilisation of brown coal. The company’s latest postgraduate research scholarship program is worth $300,000 and takes BCIA’s total investment in research skills development and leadership to more than $5.5 million
(17 September 2013)
Competitive R&D to fast-track lignite low-emissions power
|2013 R&D funding round|
|Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced more than $3.5 million dollars in funding for research and development to improve the efficiency of low-emissions brown coal power generation.|
For its third competitive funding round, BCIA is seeking R&D projects that are technically 'excellent’ and that will lead to a sustainable low-emissions future for brown coal-fired power generation as part of Australia’s energy mix.
BCIA research investment recognises the significant economic value of Australia’s world-class brown coal resource and the critical need to reduce carbon emissions from power generation.
BCIA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Phil Gurney, said “By 2030, coal is expected to account for more than 40 per cent of the world's fuel needs for power generation. Technology innovation that improves the efficiency of the combustion process will simultaneously lower the rate of CO2 emissions and the cost of deployment.
“In the long-term, without the application of technologies to reduce or capture CO2, the use of brown coal for electricity generation will cease to be viable,” Dr Gurney said.
BCIA aims to support brown coal power generators in the evaluation of new technologies that can achieve demonstrable improvements in efficiency and profitability and can accelerate the deployment of greenhouse gas reduction technologies.
The key priority areas for BCIA’s 2013 funding round are:
(6 February 2012)
Japan invests in low-emissions future for Australian brown coal
|Japan invests in low-emissions future for Australian brown coal|
|Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced the Japan Coal Energy Centre (JCOAL) had strengthened its investment in a sustainable future for Australia’s world-class brown coal resource by becoming the first international member of BCIA.|
The reciprocal membership arrangement between BCIA and JCOAL will enable linkages between Australian and Japanese researchers and industry and support opportunities for collaboration in low-emissions brown coal utilisation. JCOAL is a leading Asia-Pacific investor in human resources and technology R&D to support the sustainable development, commercialisation, transfer and dissemination of coal technologies.
In addition to the new membership arrangement, BCIA announced it will also manage the $1.5 million Japan/Victorian Brown Coal Research and Development Initiative. The Victorian Government and Japan’s Kyushu Electric Power Company (KEPCO) have committed $750,000 each over three years for collaborative R&D to drive innovation in the use of energy resources in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.
BCIA Chief Executive, Dr Phil Gurney, said: “JCOAL’s membership of BCIA, together with significant investment by Japanese companies in brown coal R&D, reflects the strong international interest and commitment to a sustainable future for brown coal. Japan is the world’s largest coal importer - we have an opportunity to lead the international development of new low-emissions coal technologies and to ensure Australia’s future economic prosperity.”
(21 December 2011)
Research to slash costs from brown coal emissions capture
|2011 $2.5M R&D Project Funding|
Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced funding for two world-leading technology innovations which offer enormous potential to slash capital and operational costs for large-scale carbon capture plants; arguably the greatest challenge facing commercial deployment of carbon capture.
BCIA Chief Executive, Dr Phil Gurney, said “By 2030, coal is expected to account for more than 40 per cent of the world’s needs for power generation. Together, these ground-breaking R&D projects provide an opportunity for Australian research to advance the sustainable use of brown coal though significant advancement of the global carbon capture industry.”
BCIA will provide $1.5 million for a research project which aims to achieve significant cost reductions - up to $200 million for a 550MW plant - in the cost of retrofitted post-combustion emissions capture from brown coal-fired power. In addition, BCIA will provide $1 million in funding for a project which offers the potential to halve the size and cost of the large primary absorber vessels required in carbon capture plants.
(11 August 2011)
Research projects aim to slash emissions from brown coal power and develop future hydrogen industry
|2011 $1.6M R&D Project Funding|
|Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced funding for two world-class research and development projects which offer enormous potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions from brown coal power generation and create new industry and employment opportunities for Australia from low-emissions brown coal utilisation.|
The R&D projects were selected as part of BCIA‟s $8.3 million 2011 funding round and encompass an assessment of hydrogen production and export from Victoria and research which aims to halve carbon emissions from brown coal-fired power by significantly increasing efficiency of a direct injection coal engine.
BCIA established ambitious cost and risk reduction targets as focus areas for the Company's 2011 funding round.
BCIA Chief Executive, Dr Phil Gurney, said: “We believe these targets – which seek to demonstrate cost-effective technologies from brown coal utilisation by 2020 – are required to ensure a sustainable future for brown coal.”
(20 June 2011)
BCIA R&D projects herald new era for brown coal
|2011 $8.3M R&D Project Funding|
|Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced initial results of its $8.3 million 2011 funding round, with up to $4.2 million awarded for six world-class R&D projects in brown coal low-emissions and product innovation technologies.|
|BCIA Chair, Gerry Morvell, said: “Our 2011 R&D funding round proves the significant international industrial interest in Australia’s world-class brown coal resource and the enormous potential to create new industry and employment opportunities for our nation. |
“We have an opportunity to lead the world in the creation of new low-emissions coal technologies and to ensure Australia’s future economic prosperity. Each project funded by BCIA offers Australia a substantial opportunity to maximise low-emissions utilisation of our natural resources for the benefit of all Australians.”
|The total leveraged value of the initial BCIA 2011 research projects is $10 million including industry, research institute and State and Federal Government funding. |
(10 February 2011)
Research scholarships to foster Australia's future scientists
|Research scholarships awarded|
|Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today awarded five postgraduate research scholarships for innovation in the development of low-emissions technologies that will broaden the sustainable use of Australia's world-class brown coal resource.|
The prestigious awards will develop the nation's future scientists and are part of BCIA's commitment to strategic investment in skills development to secure the scientific, engineering and trades expertise required for the development of new low-emissions brown coal technologies.
The five recipients of the inaugural BCIA PhD Research Scholarships are: Hirra Azher (University of Melbourne), Karen Little (Monash University), Alicia Reynolds (Monash University), Adam Rady (Monash University) and Hui-En Teo (University of Melbourne).
BCIA Chair, Gerry Morvell, said: "The BCIA PhD research scholarships demonstrate the wealth of emerging talent in our scientific community and are a significant component of our investment in leading-edge research and development that will underpin our capacity to tackle environmental challenges associated with the exploitation of brown coal."
(24 August 2010)
BCIA announces $1.6 million in funding for low emission coal research
|$1.6 M R&D Project Funding|
|Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced a combined total of $1.6 million dollars in extension funding for five key projects initiated under the Victorian Government's Energy Technology Innovation Strategy (ETIS).|
BCIA Chair, Gerry Morvell, said: "Victoria faces significant environmental challenges to the economic advantages it derives from utilisation of its very low-cost brown coal resources.
"Extension of these five important research projects will maximise the benefits and outcomes delivered to date and assist in positioning Victoria for least-cost stationary energy supply and use in an emissions-constrained world," Mr Morvell said.
"Significantly, the extension funding will support skills development and research capability in brown coal emissions reduction technologies by enabling the improved transfer of information and knowledge and the retention of key research teams."
(26 July 2010)
Research Fellowships to foster groundbreaking research in high-value uses and reduced emissions from brown coal
|BCIA Research Fellowships|
Brown Coal Innovation Australia (BCIA) today announced the appointment of Australia's 2010 BCIA Research Leader Fellowships. The fellowships are awarded to outstanding researchers of international repute who can provide a significant leadership and mentoring role in building Australia's internationally-competitive research capacity within this key field.
BCIA Chair, Gerry Morvell, said: "The inaugural BCIA Fellowships are world-class research programs that will drive future high-value, low emissions uses for Victoria's unique brown coal resource and the development of technologies to reduce and capture carbon dioxide emissions from brown coal electricity generation.
"The Fellowships and research programs supported by BCIA will make a vital contribution to our capacity to tackle environmental challenges associated with the exploitation of brown coal. As such, the research supported by BCIA will advance Australia's research standing in this important field and help to ensure the nation's future prosperity," Mr Morvell said.
The two scientists awarded BCIA Research Leader Fellowships are: