Biomass based renewable energy and forestry management business Active Energy has signed a joint venture agreement with Polish research, development and coal recovery and production company Cobant, it announced on Tuesday.
The AIM-traded firm said the venture would explore opportunities to commercialise its 'CoalSwitch' coal additive in blends with reclaimed coal from coal slurry dumps in Upper Silesia, Poland.
Active Energy said "detailed and varied" tests had demonstrated outperformance by CoalSwitch over other options tested by Cobant over the last three years, in various concentrations, with 15% CoalSwitch / 85% Bytom coal being the most efficient and allowing for zero chemical binder requirement on reclaimed coal fines reconstitution.
It said the objective was to produce a new 'super fuel' product, utilising a CoalSwitch component, produced from sawmill waste and forestry residue, combined together with reclaimed and cleaned coal fines from Upper Silesias' many historical coal waste dumps, processed through Cobant's own patented coal waste reclamation technology.
The venture also Intended to roll out its product to other coal-fired power plants and for household use, initially in Poland, although significant opportunity was recognised across the CEE and EU member countries where residual coal waste could also be found adjacent to coal-fired power plants.
"Poland's coal industry lies at the centre of the Polish identity, however it is considered to be one of the most polluting coal burning countries in Europe," said Active Energy CEO Richard Spinks.
"Recently, much has been made of claims that Poland's coal power pollution is negatively affecting its neighbours across the European Union."
Spinks said the group's objective with the joint venture agreement was to support such a "significant industry" and regional employer in its efforts to meet its emissions targets and clean air requirements, whilst finding a use for its legacy and arising coal waste in a 'super fuel' blend.
"Both Active Energy and Cobant believe this can be achieved by reconfiguring the feedstock of coal power plants to maximise output and enabling power plant operators to achieve their green credentials, whilst beating the mandated emission reduction targets set out by the European Union for 2020 and targeting the more ambitious targets for 2030.
"Our recent conversations with power plant operators and government agencies in Poland have demonstrated all parties' eagerness to adopt cleaner energy protocols.
"As such, I look forward to providing further updates regarding the joint venture agreement as appropriate."