|Friday, 7 June 2002|
News that the board had approved the construction of a new char gasifier for the Whytes Gully SWERF (solid waste energy recycling facility) plant following an inspection of a successful pilot facility at its Brisbane premises, saw Energy Development's share price kick by 78 cents or 21.3% to $4.45.
Big delays in the commercialisation of its SWERF technology over the past year - due in large part to technical glitches with the char gasifier - had seen share investors lose patience with the clean energy producer.
Just last Wednesday, Energy Development's share price plunged to a new low of $3.43 despite news that the company had been awarded preferred tenderer status on the biggest landfill site in the US.
As for the latest announcement, managing director of EDL, Mr Paul Whiteman said the full scale char gasifier will represent the completion of the last major component of the SWERF technology package.
"This will allow the company to recommence full scale process and capacity testing and undertake the final emissions tests required for an expanded EPA licence," said Mr Whiteman.
"Over the past three months the company has undertaken an intensive investigation into alternative designs for the gasification of the char residue," he said.
He added an independent engineering firm had overseen the development work and had confirmed EDL's conclusions.
In parallel with the char gasifier test work, EDL said it has also successfully installed and commissioned a dry char removal system at the Whytes Gully plant.
"This change in the process has allowed the plant to be optimised to significantly reduce the quantity (weight) of char produced," said Mr Whiteman.
"The new char gasifier will replace the original char gasifier that did not meet performance levels required for the Whytes Gully plant."
The Board's approval of the new gasifier had been given after more than 1,100 hours of testing on a number of test rigs varying in scale from a benchtop rig to the final 1 in 10 scale pilot plant.
A further report will be provided after the commissioning of the new char gasifier, Energy Development told the market.
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