$40 million in funding announced for LNG and hydrogen CRC

gas networks, Jemena

The Commonwealth Government has committed $40 million to a world-first microscale LNG plant that will form part of the LNG Futures Facility in Kwinana, WA.

The University of Western Australia will lead the new Future Energy Exports Cooperative Research Centre, which is set to position Australia as a global leader in the development and testing of new LNG and Hydrogen technologies.

Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews, announced today that a WA-led, national collaboration of 28 industry, government and research partners had been successful in its bid to establish the Future Energy Exports Cooperative Research Centre (FEnEx CRC). The Commonwealth Government will contribute a total of $40 million in co-funding to the CRC, which builds upon a further $122 million in support from industry, state governments and research organisations.

The CRC’s mission is to ensure Australia’s vital LNG industry remains competitive, reduces its environmental footprint, and helps to grow hydrogen exports for new emerging markets. A foundation project of the FEnEx CRC will be establishing the LNG Futures Facility, a 10 tonne-per-day research and teaching plant to be based at Kwinana. The project was announced by WA Premier Mark McGowan at the LNG19 conference in Shanghai almost a year ago. The State Government committed $10 million towards the plant as part of its LNG Jobs Taskforce commitments; UWA committed up to $15 million. Approximately $16 million of the Commonwealth funding announced today will be allocated to the LNG Futures Facility.

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Partners supporting the CRC bid include the WA State Government, global energy giant Chevron, Hydrogen innovator ITM and WA mining innovator Mineral Resources, with research partners UWA, Curtin University, Queensland University of Technology, University of South Australia and Swinburne University.

UWA’s Chevron Chair in Gas Process Engineering and FEnEx CRC Acting CEO Professor Eric May said the centre aimed to future-proof Australia’s energy exports through industrial-scale innovation.

“FEnEx CRC will undertake cutting-edge, industry-led research, education and training to help sustain Australia’s position as a leading LNG exporter, and enable it to become the leading global exporter of clean hydrogen,” Professor May said.

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 “The FEnEx CRC will maintain the Australian LNG industry’s competitive edge by demonstrating technologies that enhance efficiency and lower environmental impact. Our established LNG sector is a key advantage in the race to grow a Hydrogen export industry because of the similar workforce skills, engineering standards, shipping routes, and business relationships.

“UWA researchers led by Professors Michael Johns and Dongke Zhang will also work with the CRC to develop important new technologies for liquefying hydrogen and making green ammonia, both of which are likely to be critical components of Australia’s future energy exports.”

UWA Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dawn Freshwater, commended the Australian and WA Governments for funding cutting edge, industry-leading research.

“The LNG Futures Facility and FEnEx CRC will advance the prosperity and welfare of the people of WA, by developing a sustainable energy export industry to meet the needs of the 21st Century,” Professor Freshwater said.