Australian exploration and resource development company, Ebony Energy Limited has announced it has completed the scoping study for a significant above ground coal-to-gas gas production project that will help ensure eastern Australia’s long term energy security.
The gas production project is named Andado, after the vast Andado cattle station where it is located some 250 kilometres from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Ebony Energy is an unlisted Australian public company which was founded in 2011 by a number of highly experienced energy, resource, engineering and finance industry executives.
The Andado Project could begin to supply an extra 50 Petajoules (PJ) per annum or more of pipeline grade gas to Australia’s energy-starved South Australian and eastern seaboard markets within the next five years. This fresh supply would make a major contribution to long-term energy security for eastern and southern Australia that governments, industry and consumers are desperate to achieve.
While above ground coal-to-gas production plants operate in a number of countries, the Andado Project will be the first ever such operation in Australia. The above ground coal-to-gas process will use coal mined from the vast Pedirka Basin. Coal will be brought to the surface using traditional underground mining processes. The coal will then be converted to pipeline quality gas in an above ground, zero discharge gasifier plant to be located next to the mine site on one of the most remote and arid areas of the vast Andado cattle station.
With over 250 gasifiers in commercial operation and 117 licenses worldwide, GE, has signed an MoU with Ebony to collaborate on the supply of the gasification and plant technology. Ebony has also signed an MoU with leading engineering and pipeline operator, OSD, which will develop and operate the pipeline that will connect the Andado plant to the Moomba gas hub.
The new pipeline is proposed to follow the route already identified and surveyed by OSD as part of the NT Government led North East Gas Interconnect (NEGI) bid. Ebony expects that some 2000 construction jobs will be created with an estimated 200 permanent roles for operation of the plant on a long-term basis, providing a further major economic benefit for the NT.
Former Santos Chairman, Stephen Gerlach AM, who is Chairman of Ebony Energy said: “Andado is a landmark energy infrastructure project that on completion can contribute greatly to solving the east-coast gas supply and pricing, and demand adjustment issues we are seeing currently.”
“While we have yet to execute formal reserve assessment work, the nature of the production process gives Ebony a high degree of long term price certainty.
“Our initial 50PJ pa gas production plan requires only 4 million tonnes pa coal supply into the plant while Ebony’s tenement contains around 6 billion tonnes of mid energy, low ash, and low sulphur coal.
“That volume provides the reserve certainty that underpins both GE’s and OSD’s involvement in this game changing project,” Mr Gerlach said.
While the potential for a transition to reliable renewable electricity generation and supply to Eastern Australia’s energy markets is improving, new gas supplies to support that transition over the coming decades remain essential. Key existing sources of gas supply to east coast markets such as Bas Straight are now in natural decline.
In addition to its role in power generation, gas is a critical component to a number of key industrial and manufacturing processes. There is no substitute for gas for these industrial processes so continuity of reliable and sufficient gas supply for such uses remains critical maintaining such industries and their capacity to attract new investment. In addition, gas remains an important fuel source for domestic heating and cooking.
At 50 PJ gas supply per year, the Andado project could alone meet approximately eight per cent of the total east coast domestic gas demand, making a substantial contribution to easing east coast energy supply uncertainty that exists today.