The Western Australian Government, in partnership with The University of Western Australia (UWA), will soon develop a world-first microscale liquified natural gas (LNG) plant, as part of an LNG Futures Facility in Kwinana.
Premier Mark McGowan made the announcement in Shanghai at the 19th International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG19).
The plant will have the capacity to produce up to 10 tonnes of LNG per day and will be used by energy companies, contractors, service providers and small-to-medium businesses to test and refine new technologies at an industrial scale in a live plant environment.
It will also enable new levels of education and training, helping to future-proof Australia’s future oil and gas workforce.
The facility, currently being designed by an industry-led initiative including UWA, Chevron, Shell, Hyundai Heavy Industries and National Energy Resources Australia, positions WA as a global leader in the development and testing of new technology and processes, with the potential to create up to 1,400 jobs.
The State Government has declared that it will provide $10 million over 10 years and grant suitable land in the Kwinana industrial precinct to support the development of the LNG Futures Facility.
Professor Eric May, UWA’s Chevron Chair in Gas Process Engineering, believes the facility ensures an unparalleled capability for the state, providing WA with a competitive advantage in attracting research activity of all scales from around the world.
“It will be a focal point for collaboration and commercialisation of research through engagement with large companies and a wide variety of small-to-medium enterprises,” Professor May said.
“The effect will be a long-lasting impact on the whole energy and resources sector as it delivers the ability to conduct multidisciplinary research in data science, automation and operational issues of broad relevance.”
“WA is already a clear global leader in research and development for the energy and resources sectors, and this will secure that position into the future,” the Professor shared.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor, Dawn Freshwater also commented that the facility will provide a hands-on teaching platform for future engineers in the resources sector.
“This project will augment our graduates’ competence and employability through access to an inherently multidisciplinary education, including an ability to offer highly desirable professional practicums. It will be of direct benefit to UWA engineering courses,” Professor Freshwater said.
“Technology will allow extended reach to regional, interstate and international students through virtual training courses based on data streams and simulated remote operations.”