Australia’s first Micro-LNG plant is now open for business in Westbury, Tasmania.
The $150 million project, jointly funded by BOC, LNG Refuellers and government grants, comprises the construction and operation of the Micro-LNG plant and supplying six re-fuelling stations to trucking consortium LNG Refuellers Pty Ltd across Tasmania.
This new plant is designed to provide an economical low-emissions fuel alternative for the heavy transport sector.
According to BOC South Pacific Managing Director, Colin Isaac, the Westbury plant is a predecessor to similar technology the company hopes to bring to the mainland as part of its long-term commitment to supporting the domestic gas industry and reducing greenhouse emissions.
“We are delighted to have reached this significant company milestone with the launch of Australia’s first Micro-LNG plant built with the specific purpose of supplying LNG to the heavy transport sector,’’ said Mr Isaac.
The new plant is available to any Tasmanian fleet operator wanting to use LNG. Self-service, 24-hour refuelling stations will be located on existing trucking routes at Burnie, Westbury, Rocherlea, Scottsdale and Bridgewater, with a sixth site to be completed at Epping Forest in the near future.
The Westbury Micro-LNG plant has the capacity to produce 50-tonnes a day of LNG which is the equivalent of 70,000 litres of conventional diesel.
“We regard LNG as the perfect alternative to diesel for transport operators from a commercial, economic and environmental perspective,” said Mr Isaac.
“BOC is committed to minimising emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and technologies and infrastructure, such as this plant, will contribute to Australia’s CO? management.
“LNG, the cleanest burning fossil fuel, releases up to 20% less greenhouse gases compared to diesel. Another advantage of LNG is its stable price, making it an ideal fuel for transport operators.”
Mr Isaac said BOC’s state-of-the-art energy efficiency technologies would form a key element of Australia’s future energy mix.
“BOC is very pleased to be playing its part in helping to develop new industry and boosting regional and state economies through the delivery of safe, reliable and proven technology such as the Westbury Micro-LNG plant.
“Natural gas is an energy source of the future and the Westbury Micro-LNG plant will play a key role in adoption of natural gas as a mainstream fuel source in Australia. LNG is in its embryonic phase in Australia and we are very grateful for the government support received to date in getting this project off the ground. However, BOC believes there is great scope for the LNG industry to be accelerated in this country and the company has ambitions of driving that growth, supported by further government assistance where possible.”
Ken Padgett, Chairman of LNG Refuellers, a consortium of seven Tasmanian transport operators, said the company was proud to have worked alongside BOC for the past two and a half years to complete this project. He added, ”LNG Refuellers believes that LNG not only provides a low-carbon transport solution but also provides an opportunity to protect the transport energy from the economic consequences of future energy shocks. This particular project will provide a leading-edge model for future application in the rest of the country.”