Gas exploration company Metgasco tested the gas source recently and was pleased to find it had no carbon content.
Gas exploration company Metgasco tested the gas source recently and was pleased to find it had no carbon content.

'No carbon content' in Casino gas

TESTING of coal seam gas near Casino has revealed the future energy source is environmentally and financially efficient.

Gas exploration company Metgasco tested the gas source recently and was pleased to find it had no carbon content.

The absence of CO{-2} meant that gas as an energy source created significantly less carbon emissions than coal-fired electricity, the company said.

Metgasco was recently given the go-ahead to build its gas-powered Richmond Valley Power Station 4km south-east of Casino after discovering the largest conventional gas resource in NSW history.

When functioning, the power station will produce enough electricity to power 30,000 homes on the Northern Rivers.

Metgasco chief financial officer Glenda McLoughlin is delighted with the test results.

“It is a very positive finding,” she said. “We have tended to find most of the reservoirs we have tested are quite low or have no CO{-2}.

“CO{-2} is not worth anything and you do not want to try to handle carbon. When carbon is in gas usually you need to strip it.

“Gas also has lower carbon emissions than coal when it is burned as electricity. It can be between 30 and 50 per cent less than coal.”

The test results were announced to investors through the Australian Stock Exchange on Tuesday, pushing the Metgasco share price up by 1.1pc yesterday to $0.46.

The public company also underwent an internal reshuffle with board members recently.

Board chairman Peter Power is retiring from July 1, handing over the reins to deputy chairman Nicholas Heath, and the board also appointed a new non-executive director, Leonard Gill.

Despite the internal changes and an improving ASX price, the proposed $50 million power station and use of the local gas source is still a way off.

“We are still waiting for our production lease to be granted by the NSW Government,” Ms McLoughlin said.

“I think the current uncertainty under the mining super profit tax creates an element of uncertainty. We don't know what it is going to look like, and it makes decisions about investment difficult.

“We are now talking to people about buying the power. We have some parties interested.”

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