Cougar Energy has appointed Rob Neill as its new chief executive officer and managing director. The announcement follows Dr Len Walker’s decision to step down from the roles in order to focus on commercial development of underground coal gasification (UCG) in Asia.

Rob Neill has extensive experience in the resources sector, recently holding the position of Linc Energy’s senior commercial manager across the UCG, gas to liquids, drilling and mergers departments.

“Cougar is extremely enthusiastic about securing the services of an executive with Rob Neill’s broad resources industry background, strong understanding of UCG and Asian business experience,” says Cougar’s chairman Malcolm McAully. “This is another significant step forward in our Asian strategy and the progressive development of potentially commercial UCG projects in selected Asian countries.”

Rob Neill has most recently been chief executive officer of boutique consulting firm NSP Asia, advising investors and resources companies on mergers and acquisition opportunities in the Asian and Australian coal and iron ore sectors. “I am excited by the challenge of joining a clean energy company at the forefront of UCG commercialization with exciting opportunities in the Asian region,” he says. “I look forward to working with the Cougar board to drive projects forward and build shareholder value as we move UCG to commercialization in Asia.”

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