Funding explores clean energy through waste gas

fundingONE of Australia’s largest ASX-listed clean energy companies has received a $75 million loan from Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), for investment in new projects designed to generate electricity from what would otherwise be waste gases from coal mining and landfill.
Queensland based Energy Developments Limited (EDL) specialises in systems that capture waste coal mine and landfill gas and turn them into electricity. Waste coal mine gas is a reliable source of base-load power that can be used to substitute coal-fired power.
“Fugitive emissions from coal mines and landfill are potent greenhouse gases and using them to generate electricity that would otherwise come from higher emissions source creates environmental and economic efficiency benefits,” CEFC chief executive Oliver Yates said in a statement.
The CEFC was established by the Australian Government to mobilise capital investment in renewable energy, low-emissions technology and energy efficiency in Australia. It aims to be financially self-sufficient within the first two years of its operations.
The finance would be used to fund individual projects that meet the CEFC eligibility criteria to enable EDL to expand its clean energy and abatement projects and develop new opportunities in its core business areas of landfill gas, waste coal mine gas, mine vent air abatement and remote energy solutions.
CEFC’s finance facility is also intended for use in funding remote generation solutions involving hybrid technologies that use renewable energy sources. This may require co-funding as these technologies are not yet commercial, but they do offer significant potential for low carbon energy solutions for remote communities and mining companies.
EDL has already received $445 million from a syndicated loan facility provided by banks including Babson Capital Australia, Bank of America, ING, Investec, Macquarie, NAB and UBS.
“This additional finance on top of our bank loan facility means we can make faster progress on projects that take damaging greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere,” EDL managing director Greg Pritchard said.
“The loan from CEFC will enable the faster implementation of new projects by EDL.” Mr Pritchard said the loan was on commercial terms consistent with EDL’s syndicated loan facility.
“The potential to help Australia achieve its targets for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions using this technology to abate waste methane from mining and landfills is significant,” he said.
EDL has also entered an agreement that will see Anglo American’s metallurgical coal business continue to supply waste coal mine gas to its clean energy generation operations in the Bowen Basin for the next 25 years.
EDL’s existing 45MW Moranbah North power project has been operational since 2008, using waste coal mine gas from the existing Moranbah North coal mine. The long-term extension to the contract will also include supply from the new Grosvenor metallurgical coal mine, which is currently under construction.
The agreement also provides the future opportunity for EDL to develop an 18MW expansion of its current 45 MW power project.