The centre will be the host for the present three established research chairs, i.e. (1) the SARChI Research Chair in Coal Research, (2) the ESKOM EPPEI Specialisation Centre for Emission Control, and (3) the SARChI Research Chair in Biofuels and other Clean Alternative Fuels fuels. It will enlarge its footprint in environmental aspects and underground coal gasification. There is already strong research collaboration between the three focus groups that will form the founding part of the centre of excellence, combining the strengths of these groups into a mutual vision and strategic plan.