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Active Energy gears up to start CoalSwitch production

The aim is to roll CoalSwitch out in areas where AEG can source high volume feedstock.
Coal-fired stations can use AEG's product as a fuel substitute


  • Renewable energy and forestry management business

  • CoalSwitch fuel substitute product made from waste wood left over by forestry operations

  • Management contracts for two huge tracts of forest in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada


What Active Energy Group PLC (LON:AEG) does


CoalSwitch: Made from waste wood normally left to decompose following forestry operations such as pulp, sawmill by-products and wood that is below build-quality or damaged.

The aim is to roll CoalSwitch out in areas where AEG can source high volume feedstock.

Advanced Biomass Solutions (ABS), one of two affiliates set up by AEG, holds all of the CoalSwitch activities and will handle future projects related to the group’s biomass coal replacement technology. 

The division also oversees the development of PeatSwitch, an engineered soils derivative of CoalSwitch.

PeatSwitch produces a beneficiated, soil substrate product made from waste fibre.

Active Energy’s industrial site in North Carolina will be the hub for its CoalSwitch business.

The Lumberton site is close to joint venture partner Georgia Renewable Power and comprises up to 415,000 sq ft of factory space and 151 acres of surrounding land.

In June, the firm said it expects its new CoalSwitch manufacturing plant at Lumberton, North Carolina to begin operations 'shortly'.

A five-year contract for the annual supply of 800,000 tonnes of raw material to the new site will kick in once the plant is up and running. 


Forestry management: AEG’s other affiliate, Timberlands, houses the group’s forestry management business. 

Timberlands has a joint venture with three native Métis Settlements of Alberta, Canada, to commercialise more than 300,000 hectares (around 750,000 acres) of assets and also a preliminary forestry management contract with the Provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador.

On the forestry side, it said discussions regarding an MOU with Powerwood Canada continue to progress. 

Earlier in the month, the company received confirmation that it had been awarded management contracts for two huge tracts of forest in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The licences will allow the group to cut 100,000 cubic metres a year, which it will use to provide the raw material for its biomass technology, CoalSwitch.


SuperFuel: Another key partnership is its joint venture company, AEG CEE, which received market certification and environmental clearance by the Polish government for its product back in June.

SuperFuel had a similar calorific value to coal with significantly lower sulphur content and low ash and SOx and NOx emissions.


What the boss says: Michael Rowan, chief executive

"We are delighted to have entered into the final stages of transporting and installing all the removed equipment from the Utah Site to the Lumberton Site, which will soon be operational.

Lumberton is an ideal base as it is close to multiple power stations as well as the US Eastern Seaboard, he added.

"Our next steps are to develop an integrated Forest-to-Energy supply chain capable of producing up to 500,000 tonnes of CoalSwitch per year and act as a blueprint for other locations," Rowan said.


Inflexion points

  • Commencement of operations at Lumberton
  • Sales start of CoalSwitch produced at the plant 
  • Potential for EU funding for SuperFuel
  • Forestry management contract in Newfound and Labrador get underway
  • Company is valued at £5mln at 0.47p

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