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Laurus Energy and CIRI Form Joint Venture to Advance Domestic Underground Coal Gasification Industry


Stone Horn Ridge LLC will produce safe, responsible and environmentally sound energy

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Alaska Native corporation Cook Inlet Region Inc. (CIRI) and Houston-based Laurus Energy announced the formation of Stone Horn Ridge LLC, a company created to commercialize syngas from underground coal gasification (UCG). The Anchorage-based joint venture is developing syngas for power generation, ultra-clean liquid fuels and other industrial applications.

Stone Horn Ridge's production site will be on resource-rich CIRI-owned land on the west side of Cook Inlet in Southcentral Alaska and will provide an alternative to natural gas, bringing price stability, clean reliable power and increased business competition to Southcentral energy needs.

"UCG is changing the way we think about coal and allows us to harness its power in a responsible, economic and environmentally sound way," said Ethan Schutt, CIRI's senior vice president of Land and Energy Development. "By combining the abundant and otherwise unusable coal reserves on CIRI land with Laurus Energy's proprietary Exergy UCG(TM) Technology, Stone Horn Ridge is creating a cost-effective energy source to meet increasing needs."

Stone Horn Ridge was formed to expand energy options through UCG, a proven technology process that gasifies coal deep underground. The company will produce an energy-rich syngas, or synthesis gas, a domestic, secure and environmentally sound source of clean energy. UCG-produced syngas results from a well technology that eliminates the health risks associated with coal mining and has an environmental footprint similar to natural gas. As its first commercial application, Stone Horn Ridge will produce syngas to fuel a 100MW power plant in Southcentral Alaska. The company is also in discussions with potential customers to customize the product as a feedstock for other gas-based industries.

"Stone Horn Ridge ensures that the U.S. doesn't fall behind the rest of the world in developing UCG as a critical piece of the country's new energy economy," said Rebecca McDonald, CEO of Laurus Energy. "Across the world, UCG is evolving into a real solution to meet energy demands in a responsible way. As the sole provider for Exergy UCG(TM) Technology in North America, we're excited to make this fuel resource a reality."

CIRI and Laurus Energy started working on the project in 2009 to develop a responsible and deliberate plan for providing Alaska with clean, dependable energy solutions. The partners have been test drilling to validate the coal resource and geology as a high-value target for syngas production.

"Underground coal gasification has the potential to slash coal's environmental impacts," said John Thompson, director of the coal transition program at the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit focused on reducing atmospheric pollution. "UCG eliminates mine pollution and may greatly reduce the cost of capturing and storing carbon dioxide. It could be a game-changing technology for addressing climate change."

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 unmineable 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(TM) 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(TM) 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 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 U.S. 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 or www.CIRIenergy.com.

Source: Stone Horn Ridge LLC
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