PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Oil and gas major Woodside has opened a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) truck loading facility at the Pluto LNG project, in Western Australia.
Following the completion of the commissioning activities, the facility will deliver seven LNG truck loadings a day, each transporting 80 000 ℓ of diesel. The facility’s capacity will be doubled by moving to a 24-hour operation, and further expanded if the market demands.
Woodside noted on Friday that at this initial capacity, replacing the diesel with LNG could reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by more than 120 000 t/y.
“The Pluto LNG truck loading facility is a further demonstration of our commitment to supplying domestic gas, and highlights Woodside’s drive to find new markets for our cleaner LNG,” said COO Meg O’Neill, noting that the Pilbara was an ideal hub for an LNG fuels market, with established LNG processing facilities located close to large-scale mining operations and port infrastructure.
“Around three-billion litres of diesel are imported into the Pilbara every year, mainly for the mining industry. In addition, the ships exporting iron-ore to international markets from the Pilbara consume approximately five-billion litres of heavy fuel annually.
“Woodside believes that LNG produced here in Western Australia can replace those higher-emission fuels, delivering environmental benefits, while supporting the growth of local industries and creating new markets for locally produced LNG.”
Woodside has struck an agreement with mineral sands miner Sheffield Resources to supply LNG to its Thunderbird project, under a 15-year agreement.
“The opening of this facility ensures our fully permitted Thunderbird project will have the reliable energy supply it needs for its long-term future,” said Sheffield MD Bruce McFadzean.
“In addition to low cost and low emissions, the LNG is ideally suited to the low temperature roast process we are planning for the Thunderbird project, as it produces a high-quality ilmenite product.”
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan welcomed the opening of the truck loading facility, and the opportunities it will create in the state’s north.
“Western Australia is now a world leader in the delivery of natural gas, and our state is ready to take the next step and create new investment opportunities to bolster our position as a global energy hub and create new jobs for local workers.
“Natural gas is increasingly playing a major role in the world's energy mix, as more countries commit to reducing greenhouse gases and seek alternatives to coal, diesel and other higher emissions fuels,” McGowan said.