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Coal to diesel plant an environmental catastrophe

Coal to diesel plant an environmental catastrophe

Coal Action Network
15/08/07
For Immediate Use
The Coal Action Network has condemned state-owned coal miner Solid Energy's proposed coal to diesel plant in Southland as the worst idea since Marsden B.

"If the Labour Government really supports moving to a sustainable and carbon neutral energy system, why do State-Owned Enterprises keep announcing such carbon intensive projects?," said Alex Winter-Billington, a spokesperson for Coal Action Network.

"Coal is the most polluting of the fossil fuels, and using coal to produce diesel produces more than twice the CO2 of burning diesel alone (1). With global concern about climate change rising, suggesting such a technique simply beggars belief," said Ms Winter-Billington.

"Coal to diesel is an inherently inefficient process, but Southland coal is mainly lignite: the wettest and most inefficient polluting coal there is. A lignite–to–diesel thermal efficiency of approximately 50% is estimated (2)."

"Solid Energy have spent approximately $100 million dollars of public money on land purchase and investigation, acquiring access to more than 600 million tonnes of coal between Mataura, Croydon and Waiumu, and undermining Southland communities in the process. This money ought to have been spent investing in renewable energy sources, or improving energy efficiency."

"We expect to see these plans scrapped in the near future," said Ms Winter-Billington.

ENDS

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