Billionaire Abramovich Signs Accord With Linc Energy

Billionaire Roman Abramovich’s Ervington Investments Ltd. reached an agreement with an Australian developer of gas-to-liquid fuel technology, Linc Energy Ltd., to study projects in Russia.

Linc will study the use of technology known as underground coal gasification with Ervington Investments’ LLC YakutMinerals unit to make liquid fuels in northeastern Russia, the Brisbane-based company said today in a statement.

Linc, which has a UCG plant in Uzbekistan, and the Ervington Investments unit plan to cooperate on a project to produce less-polluting liquid fuels to help the Chukotka region of Russia decrease its reliance on imports, assuming they find suitable coal resources, Linc said. Linc said in December that it was in talks with Abramovich, owner of Chelsea Football Club.

Shares of Linc dropped 2.1 percent to A$1.16 in Sydney trading today as of 11:04 a.m. local time. Australia’s benchmark index fell 1.2 percent.

Oxford Catalysts Group Plc, a U.K. developer of small-scale gas-to-liquid fuel technology, sold a 3.5 percent stake to Abramovich earlier this year to help commercialize its process.

Ervington Investments, housed within Abramovich’s investment company Millhouse LLC, was set up to fund clean technology.

Underground coal gasification involves burning coal deep underground, tapping stranded reserves to produce gas for use in fuel production, electricity generation or as a material in chemicals, according to Linc’s website.

(Corrects name of clean technology investment company in sixth paragraph.)
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