Activities at the Linc Chinchilla UCG plant have sparked the allegations and trial.
Activities at the Linc Chinchilla UCG plant have sparked the allegations and trial.

Workers felt sick at Linc plant

POLLUTION trial jurors have been shown internal Linc Energy memos and emails between company bosses.

Linc, in liquidation, is not in court to defend five counts of wilfully and unlawfully causing serious environmental damage at Chinchilla.

The company operated an underground coal gasification facility.

The Crown alleges Linc used its underground wells in ways that made them fail.

One email discussed on Friday appeared to show two operators reported feeling unwell after working in a wellhead in late 2007.

Well construction materials were also discussed in documents shown to jurors.

One document revealed concerns that cement used in well construction was inadequate, incapable of withstanding operating temperatures.

Brisbane District Court jurors were shown a document about "unexpected problems in maintaining operator pressure within the generator” noticed in late 2007.

A Linc executive wrote in 2008: "There is still some smouldering in the generator even though we flooded the generator with water for many weeks and the process has been isolated from the surface for approximately 5 months.”

The executive said the gasification process was "being driven some considerable distance from the wells” due to high pressure air injection while "no escape path” existed for the air and gas.

"The air and gas eventually broke through to the surface...” he added.

Five not guilty pleas were entered on Linc's behalf when the trial started last month.

Prosecutors' say Linc's alleged failures created subterranean pathways for toxins to escape far way.

The trial is expected to last several more weeks and involve dozens more witnesses. -NewsRegional


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