Aussie company’s innovative coal and iron-making technologies move forward

Environmental Clean Technologies (ECT), a Melbourne-based company focusing on  commercialisation of new coal and iron-making technologies, has signed an agreement with India’s national lignite and iron ore authorities, to help scale up and commercialise ECT’s technologies.

The Project Agreement, signed with NLCIL (India’s national lignite authority) and NMDC (India’s national iron ore authority) will focus on commercialising ECT’s two proprietary technologies: Matmor and Coldry.

Matmor is the world’s first and only lignite (brown coal)-based primary iron making technology capable of replacing metallurgical coal and high-grade lump iron ore with lower-cost alternative raw materials thanks to its unique, hydrogen-based chemistry and furnace design.

Coldry is a unique, zero-emission, lignite upgrading technology capable of producing a solid fuel for use in power generation, industrial thermal applications and as a feedstock to higher-value downstream products such as hydrocarbon liquids, gas, fertiliser, chemicals, chars, activated carbon, hydrogen and steelmaking via the Matmor technology. Coldry solid fuel is significantly less CO2 intensive than lignite.

The project entails two phases, commencing with a $35 million R&D phase funded by the Indian partners, which aims to scale-up ECT’s Matmor and Coldry technologies to deliver an integrated pilot plant capable of producing two tonnes of metal per hour.

Following successful R&D outcomes, phase two involves commercial expansion, targeting an integrated steel making facility with a proposed capacity of 500,000 tonnes per annum and an estimated cost of $300 million.

The partners will then assess opportunities for global commercial expansion based on market assessment at that time.

senior executives and directors from NLCIL, NMDC and ECT executed the Project Agreement in the presence of India’s High Commissioner in Canberra yesterday.

ECT Chairman, Glenn Fozard said the agreement followed four years of effort by ECT to work out the process with NLCIL and NMDC to take the two technologies through the scale-up process.

“Today marks a significant milestone on the journey which, all going to plan, will see the commissioning of our Coldry-Matmor pilot plant in India by the end of 2019,” Fozard said.

NLCIL’s director of projects and planning, Selvakumar noted, “We want to use our lignite for alternative purposes. We want to dry the lignite. Coldry is a good technology for transforming lignite. When discussing lignite use with NMDC, we saw the opportunity to work together to achieve iron ore reduction as well, adding higher value to our resource through new applications.”