HOUSTON, Jan. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SYMX) ("SES") announces that the Yima Joint Venture plant has started to produce methanol, moving the Company closer to generating meaningful financial results from its China business in 2013. The plant will be ramping up methanol production to full capacity as the Yima Joint Venture completes all remaining commissioning and start-up steps throughout the first half of 2013. Located in Henan Province, China, the state-of-the-art, $250 million coal-to-methanol facility uses SES' patented and proprietary gasification technologies. It has been constructed through a 75/25 percent owned joint venture between Yima Coal Industry Group Co. Ltd., a large, integrated Chinese coal company, and SES, respectively. When it reaches full capacity later this year, the plant is expected to cleanly convert some 2,400 tonnes per day of high ash Yima coal into 300,000 tonnes per year of refined methanol. There is a large and growing market for refined methanol in China as the demand for non-traditional utilization of methanol for production of olefins and transportation fuels is rapidly increasing in the country. "We are pleased our Yima JV generated the first methanol production by the end of 2012, as planned. This project represents a significant accomplishment for SES and is expected to generate meaningful cash flows for the Company. We expect the Yima Joint Venture to quickly ramp up methanol production rates and sales this year in order to achieve sustainable full capacity production levels," said Robert Rigdon, president and CEO, SES. "The Yima project is being carefully monitored by other potential partners and customers of SES. We believe the production of methanol will be a major catalyst for further commercialization of our technology and enable us to realize the value of the significant pipeline of Chinese and global opportunities we have built over the past three years while this project has been under construction," said Mr. Rigdon.