The Australian and Victorian Governments are jointly funding and implementing the Advanced Lignite Demonstration Program (ALDP) to develop and deploy emerging technology to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions intensity of lignite (brown coal), improve the economically recoverable return from lignite and provide employment opportunities in the Latrobe Valley and broader region.
The Latrobe Valley contains over 20 per cent of the world’s lignite reserves and provides for more than 90 per cent of Victoria’s electricity generation. However, Australia and the world are increasingly seeking energy sources with a low carbon output and lignite is far from fitting this description due to the effects of its higher moisture content during combustion.
Currently, only a very small amount of lignite is upgraded, via old technology that dries and compresses the coal into briquettes which are sold to industrial and domestic customers. Opportunities exist to investigate more advanced forms of technology to upgrade lignite and improve its quality as a fuel source while lowering greenhouse gas emissions associated with its combustion and ultimately increasing its economic value.
As we move to a carbon constrained economy with the introduction of a price on carbon, it is important that we look for ways to improve the way in which we use lignite to ensure the continued utilisation of Victoria’s largest natural energy resource. Brown coal-fired power station are very emissions intensive and adopting technology that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from these power stations will be an important part in meeting Australia’s climate change commitments while maintaining a reliable and affordable supply of electricity. It also presents an opportunity to develop new lignite based energy products for sale into the domestic market and for export markets, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.
About the program
The Australian and Victorian Governments are inviting proposals from parties interested in developing Pre-commercial Demonstration scale coal upgrading processes for raw lignite that link to fully integrated end-to-end projects that offer prospective end-use products and / or processes from a broad range of possible applications. This is a joint initiative between the Australian and Victorian Governments.
“Pre-commercial Demonstration" means a demonstration of a process or integration or adaptation of a process using Victorian lignite aimed at reducing technical risk and be of sufficient size to provide process and performance guarantees on successful completion of the Pre-commercial Demonstration plant for a commercial facility to be financed and constructed.
Project proposals under this program must be at “Pre-commercial Demonstration ready stage” to which following a successful demonstration under the program, the project would lead to process and performance guarantees.
The program’s prime focus is on fit-for-purpose “coal upgrading” processes for raw lignite (including materials handling) with low emissions outcomes. Proposals must identify the product stream which is being targeted and present a plausible pathway to market and future applications to reduce emissions from coal use.
The program’s intent is to maximise the economic, environmental, technological and social benefits from the economic utilisation of the Latrobe Valley’s extensive lignite reserves.
Technologies most relevant and applicable to Victoria’s Latrobe Valley and meeting the program’s definition and objectives will be applicable to the program regardless of whether they have been developed in Victoria, Australia or overseas.
Grants and funding
Up to $90 million, will be used to fund projects assessed by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments as addressing the program objectives.
Pre-commercial technologies are eligible for funding under this program and must encompass coal upgrading which will include, but is not limited to: Drying; Dewatering; Char Production; and Separation.
The program may also include funding for pre-commercial coal conversion technologies in conjunction with any coal upgrading process (where it is directly related to the pre-commercial coal upgrading technology), including, but not limited to: Liquefaction; Combustion; and Gasification.
While the program is being jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian Governments, the Victorian Government is administering the program on behalf of both Governments. The Australian Government is represented by the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET) and the Victorian Government is represented by the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI). Successful proponents will enter into a funding agreement with DPI.
Funding for selected projects will be made following a two stage selection process and negotiation of a suitable funding agreement.
Expressions of Interest (EOIs) are now open and the application guidelines are published on the DPI website.
Enquiries concerning the EOI should be made to:
Mr Brian Davey
Manager Large Scale Demonstration Projects
Energy Technology Innovation Division (ETID)
Department of Primary Industries
Phone: +61 3 9658 4476
A second Request for Proposals stage will follow a short listing process for the EOI. Successful projects from the second stage of assessment will be publicly announced from late 2013 following the execution of a funding agreement.
More information on the Advanced Lignite Demonstration Program including factsheet, FAQ’s, Expression of Interest and Application Guidelines are published on the DPI website.