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SUMMARY

Pilbara Clean Fuels is pursuing an early-stage development of a mid-scale, electrified LNG (eLNG) plant in Port Hedland, Western Australia.

By Shardul Sharma

Australian energy company Norwest Energy has acquired a 20% equity interest in Pilbara Clean Fuels (PCF), it said on September 20.

PCF is pursuing an early-stage development of a mid-scale, electrified LNG (eLNG) plant in Port Hedland, Western Australia. The plant will convert pipeline natural gas to LNG on a tolling basis, with the LNG to be marketed as marine bunker fuel for bulk iron ore carriers operating out of Port Hedland.

A key feature of the concept is an electrified plant, Norwest said. An outsourced power supply from predominantly renewable sources will offer the potential to significantly reduce Scope-1 and Scope-2 emissions when compared to a conventional LNG plant, the company added.

To acquire a 20% equity interest in PCF, Norwest will invest A$300,000 ($201,826) to fund an initial six-month “assess stage” work programme that is designed to progress the project towards the “select stage”, at which point the technical and commercial options for the project can be defined to attract further investment.

PCF has entered into an exclusive development partnership with Technip Energies in relation to the project and has selected Air Products as the preferred liquefaction technology licensor and core equipment supplier.

Norwest said it does not envisage becoming a significant owner of the eLNG facility, and has no obligation to provide further funding, but instead will hold preferential rights to utilise a portion of the plant's capacity on a tolling basis under pre-agreed commercial principles.

“This provides a possible market for some of Norwest’s equity share of gas from its Lockyer project, with a linkage to international LNG pricing,” the company said.