Linc Energy says its business won’t be affected by a court battle with the Queensland government over accusations it has caused serious environmental harm.
Linc Energy has vowed to fight criminal charges for causing environmental damage at its underground coal gasification (UCG) plant in Queensland.
The resources company faces fines of more than $2 million after Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection charged it with four counts of causing serious environmental harm at its Chinchilla plant, in the state’s southwest.
A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Andrew Powell declined to detail the damage but said there was no immediate risk to neighbouring water bores.
UCG involves the burning of coal underground to convert it into a gas that can be used for power generation.
Linc Energy said it would “staunchly” fight the allegations.
The company’s chief executive Peter Bond said the government was not specific about the nature of the alleged environmental harm but he believed it related to an older style of UCG technology and not its Generation 5 process which was being rolled out commercially across the globe.
“I do not see these allegations as being material to the company or the future of UCG,” he said.
“They will not affect the normal operations of the company in any way or the various expansion plans we have for UCG around the globe.”
The company completed its research and development program at Chinchilla late last year and is in the process of decommissioning the site.