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Construction underway in Utah for Active Energy's first CoalSwitch plant

Active Energy Group Plc (AEG), a UK-headed renewable energy, forestry management, and timber processing business has announced that its affiliate company, Advanced Biomass Solutions Plc (ABS) has begun construction of the first five-tonne-per-hour CoalSwitch advanced biomass plant in Utah, United States (US). The plant is set to deliver commercial quantities of 'drop-in' biomass fuel that can be mixed in any ratio with coal and will demonstrate the scalability of the proprietary technology.

Active Energy Group’s modular 5 tonnes-per-hour CoalSwitch advanced biomass pellet plant in Utah (photo courtesy AEG).

According to a statement, construction of the company’s first five-tonne-per-hour CoalSwitch plant will be completed in December 2017 and followed by full commissioning and revenue generation thereafter. Designed on a modular basis the plant will demonstrate that the technology can be scaled to full commercial production to any plant size and volume of production based on multiple modules of 5 tonnes-per-hour.

This is a landmark occasion for AEG and represents the advent of the commercialisation of CoalSwitch, our ground-breaking and world-beating ‘drop in’ biomass coal replacement fuel. The completion of the plant construction in Utah and commissioning enables us to commence scalable commercial operations of the CoalSwitch technology and generate revenues. The international interest in CoalSwitch has been extremely encouraging and we have made excellent progress in developing feedstock and off-take agreements for the product in recent months. We are confident that CoalSwitch represents a revolutionary force within the market and look forward to providing further updates to our shareholders regarding our progress in commercialising this incredible opportunity, said Brian Evans-Jones, Director of Active Energy and ABS.

The plant will provide sufficient CoalSwitch advanced biomass fuel to satisfy existing early-stage demand in Utah for a period and for commercial, paid for burn testing at full-scale power utility plants. Thereafter, the plant will be relocated to one of several potential destinations where premises, long-term feedstock, and CoalSwitch fuel off-takers will be in place ready for the commencement of operations.

As revealed in September, construction of the next several plants is planned to commence in H1 2018 upon completion of post-commissioning tests of this initial plant. CoalSwitch, which is currently managed and operated by AEG’s affiliate company, Advanced Biomass Solutions Plc (ABS), is a “unique, high-calorific, high bulk density, advanced biomass pellet” behaving in the logistics and generating plants of utilities like coal.

Produced primarily from forestry waste and other industrial cellulose waste products, AEG
says that its CoalSwitch fuel can be mixed at any ratio with coal or completely replace coal
in existing unmodified coal-fired power plants allowing ‘dirty’ plant operators to fulfil their
environmental obligations without the need for extensive retrofitting of the power plant or
the handling/storage infrastructure (photo courtesy AEG).

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