Optimal Group purchases land for Westbury bioLNG facility

BOC's Micro-LNG plant at Westbury (bioLNG)
BOC's Micro-LNG plant at Westbury

Optimal Group has purchased two hectares of land in Westbury following the completion of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BOC to jointly explore the development of Australia’s first bioLNG facility at BOC’s micro-LNG plant in Tasmania. 

The land was purchased by Optimal Group to ensure availability pending final investment decision by Optimal Renewable Gas (ORG) (an Optimal Group subsidiary) and BOC on the $55 million, 2.4 TJ/day waste to biogas plant adjacent to the existing Westbury micro-LNG plant.  

Related article: BOC and Optimal Group to develop Australia’s first bioLNG facility

BOC and its subsidiary Elgas supply LNG to industrial customers in Tasmania. The biogas plant would provide biomethane to BOC’s micro-LNG plant, which would then be processed into bioLNG and distributed to customers in agriculture, food processing and other industries. 

As demand for renewable energy gathers pace, Optimal recognises the need to provide commercial and industrial natural gas customers with a solution to achieve net zero carbon emissions without expensive modifications to existing plant and equipment. The development of renewable biogases is critical to many industrial customers requiring up to 70 per cent of their overall energy requirements for thermal processes.

Optimal Group CEO said Craig Dugan, ”This is an exciting first step for this project. The site, adjacent to BOC is perfect for the development of this facility and provides ORG with excellent access to feedstocks from surrounding businesses. It will allow us to begin preliminary work on our approvals while we continue to work with the local Tasmanian food, agriculture and aquaculture industries to secure our feedstocks. We are delighted to take our first steps towards Australia’s first bioLNG project which shows commitment by BOC and Elgas to investing in new technologies to progress the development of biogas across Australia. Our partnership will demonstrate the potential for biogas and bring forward companies transition to net zero.”

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Chief development officer Luca Febbraio said, “I’m excited by how quickly we have been able to move on this. Our aim of operating 15 grid-scale biogas projects with a mix of biogas to grid and biogas to LNG within 10 years is one step closer to fruition.

“The secret to success in this field will be through speed and scale. Our customers are urgently seeking a solution to their thermal energy requirements and biogas offers them a commercially and technically proven alternative whilst solving Australia’s need to divert putrescible waste from landfill.” 

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