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Engineering underway for $1B gas project in Top End

McDermott International
McDermott International

A multinational partnership has started early work on a $1.2 billion fuel development in Northern Australia.

Darwin Clean Fuels and US-headquartered McDermott International are starting early engineering work and a feasibility study for their Natural Gas Condensate Processing Plant at Middle Arm, 47km southeast of Darwin.

First of its kind in decades

The project involves developing, constructing and operating a plant with a capacity to produce up to 100,000 barrels of clean transport fuel each day. It is touted to be the first significantly sized petroleum production facility built in Australia in more than 40 years.

Condensate is a light petroleum liquid, which condenses from natural gas and needs less processing to create quality transport fuel. It is promised to produce 75 per cent fewer carbon emissions than conventional refineries that use crude oil.

If the project proceeds it will create up to 400 construction jobs some time in the year 2021 plus an additional 140 ongoing positions in 2023. None of the jobs are advertised yet.

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‘Greater fuel security’

“The Darwin Clean Fuels Plant will contribute to greater fuel security not only in the NT but also to Australia,” Darwin Clean Fuels managing director Tony Debenham said in a public statement.

“Australia currently consumes in excess of 1,000,000 barrels of transport fuels per day and imports 600,000 barrels per day to meet its transport fuel needs. With the development of LNG fields off the west coast of Australia, by 2030, Australia is forecast to produce in excess of 300,000 barrels of condensate the bulk of which is currently exported.”

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