Micro-LNG plant provides economic solution

Australia’s first micro-LNG plant was opened in Westbury, Tasmania, in February, providing an economical low-emissions fuel alternative for the heavy transport sector.

The $150 million project comprises the construction and operation of the micro-LNG plant and supplying six re-fuelling stations to trucking consortium LNG Refuellers across Tasmania. It has been jointly funded by BOC, LNG Refuellers and government grants.

BOC South Pacific managing director, Colin Isaac said the Westbury plant was a forerunner to similar technology the company hoped to roll on the mainland in a 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,’’ Mr Isaac said.

Available to any Tasmanian fleet operator, the self-service, 24-hour refuelling stations will be located on existing trucking routes at Burnie, Westbury, Rocherlea, Scottsdale, Bridgewater with a sixth site to be completed at Epping Forest in due course.

Mr Isaac said the Westbury micro-LNG plant had 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,” Mr Isaac said.

“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,’’ he said.

LNG Refuellers – a consortium of seven Tasmanian transport operators – chairman, Ken Padgett said his company is proud to have been working alongside BOC to realise this project.

“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,” Mr Padgett said.