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Laurus Energy Signs Joint Venture with Cook Inlet Region Inc. to Commercialize Syngas


New joint venture, the first underground coal gasification (UCG) project in North America, will bring price stability, reliable power and alternative to natural gas

HOUSTON, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Laurus Energy, a privately-held company developing underground coal gasification projects in North America, today announced it has closed on an agreement with Alaska Native corporation Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI) to develop an underground coal gasification project. The agreement will result in the first North American company created to commercialize syngas from underground coal gasification (UCG). The joint venture will be based outside of Anchorage.

Among the goals of the project will be to provide an alternative to natural gas, bringing price stability, reliable power and increased business competition to meet Southcentral Alaska's energy needs.

"This agreement paves the way to a new and important project that will safely and reliably deliver a plentiful, clean, domestic source of energy," said Laurus Energy CEO Rebecca McDonald. "We applaud CIRI's leadership and look forward to developing this pioneering UCG project."

Commercial-scale UCG projects have been used to gasify coal for more than 50 years. According to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, UCG provides the potential to increase U.S. recoverable coal reserves by 300-to-400 percent. UCG makes it possible to harness the power of coal without the hazards of coal mining or surface handling.

"The new UCG project that CIRI and Laurus Energy will develop has many economic benefits and requires no public subsidies or expensive infrastructure needed to import natural gas into Southcentral Alaska," said Ethan Schutt, CIRI's senior vice president of Land and Energy Development. "Furthermore, Laurus Energy's extensive expertise and proven proprietary Exergy UCG process will enable us to produce power from coal with a lower carbon profile than natural gas."

About Laurus Energy
Laurus Energy develops underground coal gasification (UCG) projects in North America using proprietary Exergy UCG(TM) Technology to unlock and capture value from otherwise un-mineable coal. The projects turn an abundant, domestic natural resource into a clean, low-cost synthesis gas for climate-friendly, economical energy production, chemicals, and other products. With the Exergy UCG process, coal is converted while still underground ("in-situ") into multiple gas streams that are easily separated at the surface into useful and sequesterable components resulting in a lower carbon profile than natural gas. Additionally, the Exergy UCG process eliminates a wide range of emissions, and requires no surface mining or ash disposal. Laurus Energy is headquartered in Houston and has offices in Montreal; Edmonton, AB; and Sheridan, WY. For more information, please visit http://www.laurusenergy.com/.

About CIRI
CIRI is an Alaska Native corporation. It is one of 12 Alaska-based regional corporations established by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 to benefit Alaska Natives who had ties to the Cook Inlet region. The Company is owned by more than 7,300 Alaska Native shareholders of Athabascan and Southeast Indian, Inupiat, Yup'ik, Alutiiq and Aleut descent. It is based in Anchorage and has interests across Alaska, the United States and abroad. CIRI's well-diversified portfolio of business operations and investments includes energy and resource development, renewable energy, oilfield and heavy construction services, environmental remediation services, commercial and retail real estate development and management, tourism and hospitality, telecommunications, aerospace defense, private equity and venture capital investments, and marketable securities investments. CIRI also created a family of nonprofit service organizations that provide needed health care, housing, employment, education and other social and cultural enrichment services for Alaska Natives and others.

For more information, visit www.CIRI.com.

Source: Laurus Energy

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