The reciprocal membership arrangement between BCIA and JCOAL will enable linkages between Australian and Japanese researchers and industry and support opportunities for collaboration in low-emissions brown coal utilization. JCOAL is a leading Asia-Pacific investor in human resources and technology R&D to support the sustainable development, commercialization, transfer and dissemination of coal technologies.

In addition to the new membership arrangement, BCIA announced it will also manage the $1.5 million Japan/Victorian Brown Coal Research and Development Initiative. The Victorian Government and Japan’s Kyushu Electric Power Co. have committed $750,000 each over three years for collaborative R&D to drive innovation in the use of energy resources in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

BCIA Chief Executive Dr. Phil Gurney said: “JCOAL’s membership of BCIA, together with significant investment by Japanese companies in brown coal R&D, reflects the strong international interest and commitment to a sustainable future for brown coal. Japan is the world’s largest coal importer—we have an opportunity to lead the international development of new low-emissions coal technologies and to ensure Australia’s future economic prosperity.”