The Queensland Government has passed legislation banning underground coal gasification (UCG).

UCG is a process where coal is converted to a synthesised gas by burning coal underground before bringing it to the surface.

The Queensland Government says that because it is a vastly different process to coal seam gas production, it does not fit in the existing regulatory framework.

Queensland Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham UCG’s risks outweigh its potential benefits.

“In 2009, the Queensland Government established a process for three companies to trial UCG operations on a small scale,” Lynham said.

“An independent scientific panel report on the pilot trials found that sufficient scientific and technical information was not yet available to reach a final conclusion about the operation of this industry on a commercial scale.

“Issues associated with two of the three trial projects and the uncertainty about commercial scale operations, have highlighted significant risks with this industry which are just not acceptable.”