The Board of Cougar Energy Limited (ASX: CXY) is pleased to announce that Mr Rob Neill has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Company effective 6 August 2012. He will also be invited to join the Company's Board of Directors on that date.
This appointment follows Cougar's announcement earlier this year of Dr Len Walker's decision to step down from these roles to focus on the commercial development of Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) technology in Asia.
Dr Walker will remain on the Board as Executive Director -Technology and Commercialisation.
Mr Neill has had a successful track record in management positions within the resources sector and has built an extensive network of commercial contacts in the Asian region. In the UCG sector he held the role of Senior Commercial Manager at Linc Energy Limited where he worked across Linc's divisions of UCG, Gas to Liquids, Drilling and Mergers & Acquisitions for more than two years.
'The Cougar Board is extremely enthusiastic about securing the services of an executive with Mr Neill's broad resources industry background, strong understanding of UCG and Asian business experience', Cougar Energy Chairman, Mr Malcolm McAully, said today.
'This is another significant step forward in Cougar Energy's Asian strategy following on from the establishment of a regional office in Beijing, extension of our UCG technology licence agreement with Ergo Exergy Technologies, Inc., and the progressive development of potentially commercial UCG projects in selected Asian countries,' Mr McAully said.
'Mr Neill's appointment will bring a strong commercial injection into the project development work currently being undertaken by the Company in Indonesia, China and Mongolia,' he said.
Since leaving Linc Energy, Mr Neill has been the CEO & Managing Director of NSP Asia Consulting, a boutique consulting firm based in Singapore advising investors and resources companies on mergers and acquisition opportunities in the coal and iron ore sectors in Asia and Australia.
'I am excited by the challenge of joining a clean energy company at the forefront of UCG commercialisation with exciting opportunities within the Asian region,' Mr Neill said.
'I look forward to working with the Cougar Board to drive projects forward and to build shareholder value as we move UCG to commercialisation in Asia', he said.
His past experience includes roles as General Manager of Bucyrus Australia, a leading manufacturer and distributor of surface and underground mining equipment, and COO at Industrea Limited, an ASX listed mining equipment manufacturer, distributor and provider of mining services.
Mr Neill has also held executive management roles with Repco, Hagemeyer and Hitachi. His early working life included the completion of trade qualifications in a heavy engineering discipline within the surface and underground coal mining industry in Queensland's Bowen Basin.
Along with his extensive resources industry and Asian business experience, Mr Neill also holds tertiary qualifications covering an MBA and a Master in Professional Accounting both from the University of Southern Queensland, along with Chinese language skills gained from the University of New South Wales Institute of Languages in Sydney.
Mr Neill's salary package is set at $320,000, with future performance incentives which will include options to be granted in accordance with the Company's approved management options program.
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