Gases and engineering company BOC, a member of The Linde Group, has been developing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fuelling infrastructure along the eastern seaboard of Australia, with LNG stations planned through the states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Now, competitor Shell Australia is also to set up LNG refuelling, indicating the growing interest for this road transport fuel along one of Australia’s busiest heavy-duty transportation routes.
NGV Global News has received confirmation from Paul Zennaro, Head of Media Relations for Shell Australia that “Shell will make LNG available at eight existing Shell Coles Express service stations along Australia’s busiest truck route between Melbourne and Sydney.” The move is Shell’s first toward LNG refuelling in Australia, and comes on the heels of recent news about Shell’s plans for LNG for transport corridors in North America. No further information is available from Shell at this time.
BOC’s general manager for LNG, Alex Dronoff, has welcomed the competition, saying it was very encouraging to see companies following BOC’s lead in advancing LNG projects in Australia. “It can only provide greater access to and awareness of this important alternative to diesel for transport operators from a commercial, economic and environmental perspective,” Dronoff said.
BOC is investing heavily in LNG plants and projects Australia-wide to meet the changing needs of the transport industry, providing an economical low emissions fuel alternative for the trucking sector. The company rolled out Australia’s first Micro-LNG plant at Westbury, Tasmania and, along with truck consortium LNGR, a network of refuelling stations around the island state in 2011.
BOC’s eastern seaboard project is well progressed with BOC spending approximately $65 million upgrading its Dandenong Air Separation Unit (ASU) and LNG facilities in 2010 to meet Australia’s growing need for eco-friendly alternative fuels for heavy transport. This is in addition to the development of a micro-LNG plant near the Queensland township of Chinchilla also dedicated to providing the trucking industry with a cleaner alternative fuel. The process plant will purify natural gas fed into the Roma-Brisbane pipeline by project partner QGC.
BOC technology will then liquefy the natural gas in a refrigeration process and the resulting LNG will be transported in specially designed vacuum tankers to a network of approximately nine refuelling stations creating an LNG highway from Queensland to Victoria. Presently there are two refuelling stations located in Dandenong and Mordialloc in Victoria, with another planned for Altona, in addition to the NSW centres of Tarcutta, Campbeltown, Wyong/Newcastle and Brisbane in Queensland.
The natural gas for the Dandenong plant is sourced from gas transportation and energy infrastructure company APA and converted to liquid form by BOC before being sent back to APA for storage.
“BOC is very pleased to be playing its part in helping to reduce greenhouse emissions, develop new industry and boost regional and state economies through the delivery of safe, reliable and proven technology with our LNG plants and networks,’’ Dronoff said in a BOC press release.