(EnergyAsia, August 2 2012, Wednesday) — Australia’s Cougar Energy Limited said it has appointed former Linc Energy executive Rob Neill as CEO and managing director from August 6.

Mr Neill succeeds Len Walker who stepped down from these roles but remains a board director to focus on the commercial development of underground coal gasification (UCG) technology in Asia.

According to a Cougar Energy statement, 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. At Linc Energy, he was senior commercial manager involved with a range of decisions and activities in UCG, gas-to-liquids, drilling as well as 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”, said Cougar Energy chairman, Malcolm McAully.

“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 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.”

Since leaving Linc Energy, Mr Neill has been the CEO and managing director of NSP Asia Consulting, a Singapore-based consulting firm advising investors and resources companies on mergers and acquisition opportunities in the coal and iron ore sectors in Asia and Australia.

He said: “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.

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.”