March 01, 2011
Following the laboratory mix up that caused suspension of Cougar Energy's Kingaroy UCG plant on 16 July 2010, Cougar Energy has prepared a significant body of monitoring results and technical reports at the bequest of the Queensland Government's Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM). Culminating in 17 separate reports and over 650 pages of technical documentation, Cougar Energy provided its final report to DERM on 10 December 2010.
On 28 January 2011, Cougar Energy received a Notice of Proposed Action and an independent scientific panel (ISP) report from DERM, in relation to the company's UCG project at Kingaroy. Based on the findings of the ISP report, the notice proposed to disallow Cougar Energy from continuing UCG operations at the site, except for decommissioning, rehabilitation and monitoring activities.
Cougar Energy yesterday lodged a submission with DERM, setting out several grounds as to why the proposed orders should not be made, not least of which is that "Cougar Energy's Kingaroy Project has never presented any danger to human health, drinking water, livestock nor farming activities in the region". Testament to this, are over 13,000 tests undertaken by DERM, Independent laboratories and Cougar Energy, the results of which all show zero levels of any of chemicals of interest.
Cougar Energy's submission points to the significant errors contained in the Government's ISP report and further demonstrates the ISP's lack of technical understanding in regard to UCG. The submission also makes it apparent that the ISP have not taken the necessary time to understand, or even read, over 650 pages of technical submissions made to DERM by Cougar.
Given that Cougar Energy utilizes the most proven, advanced UCG technology in the world, provided by Ergo Exergy Technologies of Canada, one can only assume that the misinformed technical justifications are not the real reason for the Queensland Government's distaste for the Kingaroy UCG project. It seems more likely that Cougar Energy is the unfortunate scapegoat of the QLD Government's own political hypocrisy.