The UCG pilot plant at Chinchilla.
The UCG pilot plant at Chinchilla. Contributed

Linc shuts down Chinchilla plant, says bon voyage to Qld

LINC Energy is closing down its underground coal gasification pilot plant near Chinchilla on the Western Downs and ending its 14-year presence in Queensland.

The company said the plant would be shut down after the "successful" completion of two years of continuous operation of its fifth-generation of underground coal gasification designs.

"The achievement of (Gasifier 5's) two-year design life (this month) will make the conclusion of the company's immediate technology development program and the transition into the final phase of site decommissioning and remediation," a statement to the ASX announced.

The plant at Chinchilla has been used for operational trials and research for almost 14 years.

The Queensland Government has put a hold on the commercialisation of underground coal gasification due to concerns over its impact on groundwater and the environment.

Linc Energy said that had forced the company to abandon its commercial interests in Queensland.

Instead, it will focus on offshore opportunities including in Asia, Africa, Russia and Poland.

"... due to the regulatory uncertainty in Queensland over the last several years in particular, I do not believe that the developing UCG industry has been treated reasonably," CEO Peter Bond said.

"I do not believe that we have been afforded a level playing field or offered a fair go with access to the basic right of statutory due process."