Woodside opens new LNG truck loading facility
The Woodside-operated Pluto LNG Project has opened its new LNG truck loading facility, a key milestone towards development of a local LNG market for remote power generation and transport fuels.
The Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, officially opened the facility at a ceremony in Karratha.
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 tpy. 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 Western Australia 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.
“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 oil annually.
“Woodside believes that LNG produced here in Western Australia can replace those higher-emissions fuels, delivering environmental benefits while supporting the growth of local industries and creating new markets for locally produced LNG,” she said.
O’Neill thanked the Pluto Joint Venture participants Kansai Electric and Tokyo Gas, downstream joint venture partner EDL Energy, trucking partner Linfox and foundation customer Sheffield Resources for their support in bringing the project to completion.