Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

Asia Energy PLC (GCM)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Friday 14 October, 2005

Asia Energy PLC

Company Update

Asia Energy PLC
14 October 2005


                Asia Energy PLC ('Asia Energy' or 'The Company')

          Asia Energy announces coal quality for the Phulbari Coal Mine

Asia Energy announces the latest coal quality test results from the Phulbari
Coal Mine. These results are based on a comprehensive analysis of all
exploration slim-core samples and the first of the two Large Diameter core
samples specifically extracted to determine representative coal quality across
the major coal seams.

Testing and analysis has been undertaken by ACIRL Ltd in Australia under the
supervision of Asia Energy's coal evaluation consultant, QCC Resources Pty Ltd.
QCC has determined that through conventional, efficient coal washing and
preparation processes, Phulbari 'Run of Mine' coal is capable of yielding a wide
range of coal products with differing levels of ash and energy. In its report
presented to Asia Energy this week, QCC has defined the parameters for three
product categories - Export Thermal Coal (ETC), Low Ash Metallurgical Coal
(LAMC) to be marketed as a Semi Soft Coking Coal (SSCC), and Domestic Thermal
Coal (DTC). These products represent an optimum mix of clearly defined and
internationally recognizable coal types, which are highly suited to the
international and domestic coal trade.

The principal specifications for the targeted export coal products are detailed
below. These are 'Provisional' specifications based on testing and analysis to
date and the mine plan schedule. The final 'Typical' Product Specifications are
subject to the completion of tests on the second of the two Large Diameter core
samples and on combustion testing over the next two months.

Phulbari Export Thermal Coal (ETC)

Thermal Coal is primarily used in coal-fired power generation and in raising
heat for industrial processes such as cement clinker. The major coal quality
properties used to price coal and determine efficient application in coal-fired
power plants and compliance with environmental standards are specific energy,
moisture, ash, volatile matter, fixed carbon, ash chemistry, sulphur, and
grindability (the ease with which the coal can be reduced to a pulverized fuel
feed).

Phulbari ETC is comparable in quality to major traded bituminous coal brands
from Australia, South Africa, Indonesia and China. Therefore, there are no
anticipated technical barriers to export market entry.

In terms of those characteristics that maximise combustion efficiency - high
energy, low moisture, low ash, manageable volatiles, high fixed carbon and
benign ash chemistry - Phulbari ETC ranks highly on all counts. Whilst within
market limits, Phulbari's sulphur is higher and grindability less favourable
than some competing coals. However, Phulbari's high energy compensates for these
features in both commercial and technical evaluations. High energy thermal coals
are more efficient in power generation and industrial heat-raising as they
reduce the quantity of coal needed to produce a unit of electricity or heat and,
in turn, reduce emissions on a per unit basis.

Phulbari ETC is, therefore, a premium product, which is expected to be
positioned at the high end of internationally traded thermal coals.

Phulbari Low Ash Metallurgical Coal (LAMC)

Metallurgical coals are mainly used in the production of coke for blast furnace
input in the integrated iron and steel industry worldwide. Semi-soft Coking Coal
(SSCC) is blended with higher priced Hard Coking Coal to make cost effective
coke. Phulbari's LAMC specification has many similarities with Rio Tinto's
Hunter Valley SSCC brand, and to Chinese export SSCC brands. Like these brands,
Phulbari only has moderate coking characteristics and cannot be used by itself
to make coke, but is suitable as a blend component.

Phulbari LAMC's key quality positives are its low ash and low to mid-range
phosphorus. The ash level of less than 7.0% (air dried basis) are expected to be
very attractive to coke-makers, who generally receive Hard Coking Coal in an ash
range of 6% to 10%, and premium grade and standard (non-premium) grades of SSCC
in an ash range of 4% to 8.5% and 8.5% to 11% respectively. Imported SSCC's with
low ash and low phosphorus properties similar to Phulbari are particularly
preferred and valued by the Indian iron and steel industry, mainly because they
offset high ash in local coals, and higher phosphorus levels in locally supplied
iron ore. It is anticipated that Phulbari LAMC will have a major freight
advantage to the Indian market over competing suppliers.

Phulbari Domestic Thermal Coal (DTC)

As an outcome of the coal washing and preparation process, DTC can be produced
with varying levels of ash, from 19% up to 33% (ad) and consequent reduced
energy content, and with a sulphur content of around 0.9% (ad). In other
respects, the DTC is similar to Phulbari ETC.

Phulbari DTC is expected to be an ideal fuel for additional coal-fired
electricity generating capacity in Bangladesh to help meet the country's growing
power demand. Asia Energy has proposed a 500 MW plant to the Government of
Bangladesh, which will consume around 1.5 Mtpa of higher ash coal and add
significantly to the strength and market diversity of the Phulbari Project.

A significant opportunity exists to supply coal to the Bangladesh brick-making
industry, which has been estimated to consume at least 2.3 Mtpa of coal imported
from India. Phulbari DTC has much lower sulphur (around 0.9% as received basis)
and other contaminants than the Indian coal, which contains up to 4.0% sulphur.
Using Phulbari coal will not only improve the environment around brickworks but
is anticipated to enhance the Balance of Trade with India by reducing coal
imports.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Phulbari Export Coal Product Specifications
                                        Provisional
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Typical                                  Unit of         Analysis      Low Ash      Export
Specification                          Measurement        Basis     Metallurgical   Thermal
                                                                        Coal         Coal
                                                                        LAMC          ETC
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total moisture                                       %      ar               10.0       8.5
Proximate analysis                                   %      ad
                       Moisture                                               2.8       2.4
                       Ash                                                    6.8      12.0
                       Volatile                                              33.7      31.4
                       matter
                       Fixed                                                 56.7      54.2
                       carbon
Total sulphur                                        %      ad               0.75      0.80
Chlorine                                             %      ad               0.02      0.02
Phosphorus                                           %                       0.03      0.04
Hardgrove grindability
index                                                                          45        43
Crucible swelling N(o)                                                          4         1
Top Size                                    mm                                 50        50
Specific energy
                       Gross:            kcal/kg            ad               7420      6930
                       Net:              kcal/kg            ar               6580      6240
Nitrogen                                             %     daf                1.8       1.8
Analysis of ash                                      %
                       SiO2                                                    47        48
                       Al2O3                                                   37        40
                       Fe2O3                                                  6.5       5.3
                       CaO                                                    0.9       0.4
                       MgO                                                    0.2       0.2
                       Na2O                                                   0.1       0.1
                       K2O                                                    0.9       0.7
                       TiO2                                                   5.6       3.4
                       Mn3O4                                                 0.01      0.01
                       P2O5                                                  1.10      0.73
                       SO3                                                    0.1       0.1
Ash fusibility         Hemisphere   degreesC, red. atm                       1550    >1600

                                                         ar: as
                                                         received
                                                         ad: air
                                                         dried
                                                         daf: dry
                                                         ash free
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

14 October 2005

For further information please contact:

Michael Frayne, Joint Managing Director     Justine Howarth, Cathy Malins
michael.frayne@asia-energy.com              Parkgreen Communications
David Lenigas, Joint Managing Director      Tel: +44 (0) 20 7493 3713
david.lenigas@asia-energy.com               justine.howarth@parkgreenmedia.com
Asia Energy PLC                             cathy.malins@parkgreenmedia.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7079 1798, 
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7491 2758
info@asia-energy.com; www.asia-energy.com



                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange