Directors and Executives from Melbourne-based brown coal drying technology company Environmental Clean Technologies (ECT) have re-opened discussions with former partner Tincom of Vietnam. The parties will meet in early October to explore opportunities for recommencing the Victorian Coldry JV Project, as well as other opportunities in the Asian market.

ECT’s managing director Mike Davies says, “I am advised that the Tincom joint venture was terminated on the basis that certain conditions had not been met and that key milestones had not been achieved.

“The Board has adopted a simplified and action-based strategy to deliver value to shareholders. Consistent with that strategy the Board considers that the Victorian Coldry project remains a viable option for the commercialization of Coldry technology in Australia.

“Following an approach to Tincom’s chairman Mr Luong and detailed discussions on a ‘road map’ for the future, ECT’s Board has been invited to Vietnam to discuss the possibility of resurrecting the project. We have kindly accepted the offer and have arranged to meet in Hanoi during October.”

Mike Davies indicated both parties acknowledged there had been barriers to progress on both sides. “By ECT and Tincom taking ownership of their respective issues, we believe that material progress can be made towards reaching agreement. As such, we’ve entered into discussions in a spirit of genuine co-operation and partnering.”

ECT’s chief operating officer Ashley Moore says, “Both parties are keen to explore a renewed relationship considering the significant time and money both invested in advancing the original joint venture.

“Whilst not wanting to prejudice or pre-empt decisions, ECT is encouraged by Tincom’s response and we hope that agreement can be reached around the Victorian project in the near term. We certainly recognize that the fundamentals surrounding energy security and global coal demand have strengthened in favour of a technology such as Coldry in the last two years, and this should support a renewed vigour to drive the project’s advancement.”

Under the terms of the original JV agreement, ECT through its joint venture company Victoria Coldry would annually export 2 million tonnes of dried brown coal (Coldry) to Vietnam from 2014, expanding up to 20 million tonnes within a decade.

If successful in renewing this project with Tincom, ECT would earn royalties for every tonne of Coldry produced at this facility, for a minimum of 20 years.

ECT recently announced intentions to proceed with the Victorian Coldry project and will commence a design for tender program, which is essential to complete the detailed engineering of, and detailed costing for, a commercial scale Coldry production plant.

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