AEG provides update on US CoalSwitch projects

By Erin Voegele | May 20, 2021

U.K.-based Active Energy Group plc on May 20 announced plans to expand production of its CoalSwitch product in the U.S. and provided an update on the development of the company’s project in Lumberton, South Carolina.

AEG’s CoalSwitch technology produces high-calorific, high-bulk-density biomass pellets. According to the company, CoalSwitch is produced primarily from forestry waste and other industrial cellulose waste products. The product can be fired with coal in existing coal-fired power plants at any ratio, up to 100 percent.

Construction on the Lumberton project began in December 2020. According to AEG, core construction for the facility is complete. The company disclosed on May 7 that construction activity in regard to certain components of the plant has been suspended, pending the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s approval of amendments to the existing air and construction permit, which was issued in August 2020. AEG said it has filed all relevant applications and is awaiting the NCDEQ’s decision. “AEG is working with the NCDEQ, its partners in Robeson County and other North Carolina State officials to expedite this process,” the AEG said in its May 20 update. “The company was in the final stages of construction, including the delivery of certain key equipment, prior to this issue arising and, as the completion of construction is dependent on approval from NCDEQ, AEG is not currently able to provide a revised timetable for completion of the Lumberton Reference Plant.  The company will update the market as soon as more information is received.”

Development is also underway on a CoalSwitch project in Maine. AEG said it has entered a joint venture with Player Design Inc. to complete a second production facility in Ashland, Maine. The company said a temporary operating permit was granted by the state of Maine for the production of an initial 1,000 tons of CoalSwitch by no later than July 31, 2021. Construction of the CoalSwitch equipment at the Ashland facility began in late April. Initial production is expected to begin before ethe end of May. Operational and environmental data will be supplied to the state of Maine, with the aim of securing a long-term operating permit for the facility. Once that permit is secured, the joint venture plans to produce up to 35,000 metric tons of CoalSwitch per year at the site.

A full copy of AEG’s operational update can be downloaded from the company’s website