Australian exploration and production company Woodside has opened a liquefied natural gas (LNG) truck loading facility at its Pluto LNG project in Western Australia (WA), as it looks to develop the domestic LNG market for remote power generation and transport fuels.
The Pluto LNG project is located 190km north-west of Karratha in WA, in the Northern Carnarvon Basin. It processes LNG from the Pluto and Xena gas fields, which have total dry gas recoverable reserve volumes of 4.4 trillion cubic feet (tcf) and 0.6tcf respectively.
Following the completion of commissioning activities, the facility will initially be able to deliver seven LNG truck loadings per day, each one transporting the equivalent of more than 80,000 litres of diesel.
At this initial capacity, replacing that diesel with LNG could reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by more than 120,000 tonnes per year. The facility’s capacity can be doubled by moving to 24-hour operations, and further expanded if needed to meet future market demand.
Woodside’s initial focus is on supplying trucked LNG to mining operations and communities in the Pilbara, Kimberley and elsewhere in WA for power generation, supporting regional investment through provision of reliable, flexible and cost-competitive energy. Trucked LNG will also be used to supply coastal marine vessels, including the LNG-powered Siem Thiima which joined Woodside’s fleet in 2017.
In the longer term, the availability of LNG from the truck loading facility could support the transition towards cleaner fuel for trucks and trains in the region’s heavy transport sector. Woodside is also planning to develop infrastructure for supplying LNG to the international shipping industry, particularly iron ore carriers on the busy trade route from the Pilbara to Asia.
Woodside Chief Operations Officer Meg O’Neill said the Pilbara is an ideal hub for an LNG fuels market, with established LNG processing facilities located close to large-scale mining operations and port infrastructure.
“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," he said.
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