Coal

Rentech announces progress on Australian gas-to-liquids project utilizing coal


DENVER, Aug. 26, 2003 — Rentech Inc. announced that the Latrobe Valley in eastern Victoria, Australia has emerged as the leading choice for what could be the first “clean” production of gas and sulfur-free diesel and naphtha in Australia from the processing of coal.

The proposed project would convert synthesis gas made from coal into the clean diesel and naphtha products using Rentech’s Fischer-Tropsch gas-to-liquids technology (GTL). The project is a result of Rentech’s previously announced Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with GTL ENERGY LIMITED (GTL Energy), an unlisted public Australian corporation with headquarters in Adelaide, South Australia (Dennis L. Yakobson, president and CEO of Rentech, maintains a seat on the Board of Directors of GTL Energy.)

Feasibility trials for the clean fuel GTL project, which would be developed adjacent to the Hazelwood Power Station at Morwell, Victoria, will commence immediately under a “Deed of Arrangement” that has already been signed between GTL Energy and International Power (Australia) Pty. Ltd. (IPA). IPA is a subsidiary of UK-based International Power plc, owners of the 1600 megawatt Hazelwood Power Station.

Core samples of the coal seam will be tested in the United States for their suitability for beneficiation as a premium grade stock for subsequent gasification. The synthesis gas that results would be used as feedstock for the proposed GTL project. If these feasibility studies are successful, GTL Energy, IPA and Rentech plan to enter into additional agreements to develop a design for the clean fuel GTL project, determine capital costs, and other arrangements for a potential 10,000 barrel per day GTL facility.

The project represents an opportunity to implement GTL Energy’s patented coal beneficiation techniques in conjunction with Rentech’s GTL technology on low-grade coal/lignite.

The Hazelwood “brownfields” site has ready access to a major coal mine and the IPA power facility. This includes availability to the existing infrastructure for distribution of excess base or peak load power, transportation facilities, and a staff of 530 experienced personnel.

Rentech, Inc. is the developer and licensor of a patented and proprietary Fischer-Tropsch, gas-to-liquids process, for conversion of synthesis gas made from natural gas, industrial off-gas, or solid or liquid carbon-bearing materials into high-value fuels, products and chemicals. These products include cleaner burning, sulfur-free diesel fuel, naphtha, waxes and fuel for fuel cells.