Big players in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry have teamed up with The University of Western Australia (UWA) to develop a world-first microscale LNG plant that will create around 1400 jobs in WA.
The LNG plant, part of an LNG Futures Facility in Kwinana, will see LNG companies, contractors, service providers and small to medium businesses test and refine new processes and technologies in a live plant environment. It is expected the plant would have the capacity to produce 10 tonnes of LNG per day.
The industry-led initiative includes Chevron, Shell, Hyundai Heavy Industries and National Energy Resources Australia. The Western Australia Government is also involved, with the state Premier, Mark McGowan, making the announcement recently in Shanghai at the 19th International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas.
For its part, the state government is providing $10 million in funding over 10 years and will grant suitable land in the Kwinana industrial precinct to develop the LNG Futures Facility. WA's LNG Jobs Taskforce, which includes Chevron, Woodside, Shell, Santos, and Inpex, is collaborating to maximise local jobs in the state's LNG industry. Mr McGowan said WA would work with the UWA consortium and all industry partners to secure Commonwealth support to bring the project to fruition.
The state government's Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI) stated that, "major resource companies have invested heavily in WA to increase production of LNG for Asian markets. Western Australia currently has four operating LNG export projects: the North West Shelf (pictured); Pluto; Gorgon; and Wheatstone" and currently exports most of its LNG to Japan.
"When the Prelude floating LNG project begins exports in 2019, the state's total LNG export capacity will be close to 50 million tonnes a year," the JTSI said, adding new long-term contracts with China and India will diversify its export market.