Australia Pacific LNG Terminal

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.
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Australia Pacific LNG Terminal is an LNG terminal in Queensland, Australia.

Location

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Project Details

  • Owner:
  • Parent: Origin Energy (37.5%), Conocophillips (37.5%), Sinopec (25%)
  • Location: Curtis Island, Gladstone, Queensland, Australia
  • Coordinates: -23.75583, 151.19061 (exact)
  • Capacity: 9 mtpa, 1.29 bcfd
  • Additional Proposed Capacity:
  • Status: Operating
  • Type: Export
  • Trains: 2
  • Start Year: 2016
  • Financing: Original project financing was provided via a US$2.875 billion loan from 14 commercial banks and Canada's export credit agency, and additional loans from two export credit agencies: Export Import Bank of the United States and China ExIm Bank[1]

Note: mtpa = million tonnes per year; bcfd = billion cubic feet per day

Background

Australia Pacific LNG Terminal is an LNG terminal in Curtis Island in Queensland, Australia on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.[2] Curtis Island's three plants (Australia Pacific LNG Terminal, Gladstone LNG Terminal, Queensland Curtis LNG Terminal) are worth $70 billion.[3]

As of 2017, Australia is the second largest LNG exporter after Qatar. The country exports almost 44 million tons a year.[4] According to the company website, Australia Pacific LNG is the largest producer of natural gas sourced from coal seams in eastern Australia.[5]

The facility took five years to construct. In 2016, it began commercial operation and shipped its first cargo.[6]

Environmental Concerns

Dredging to widen and deepen the Port of Gladstone to allow for several LNG projects in the port caused some ocean turbidity and possible damage to wildlife and the fishing industry.[7]

In 2011, the Queensland Government announced it would close up to 311 square miles (500 square kilometers) of Queensland coast to fishing. At the same time the government warned citizens that seafood should not be handled or eaten.[7]

Divisions emerged over whether dredging caused these issues. The release of acid sulphate from dredging may have damaged and killed turtles and fish. Fishermen had been warning about problems since October 2010. Thirty percent of the catch was infected for a month during August and September 2011.[7]

Bloomberg published an article in 2017 citing Curtis Island's three plants in Australia (Australia Pacific LNG Terminal, Gladstone LNG Terminal, Queensland Curtis LNG Terminal) as an example of infrastructure duplication, and estimating that $10 billion of the combined $70 billion cost of the LNG projects could have been saved. The three LNGs built separate jetties that now crowd the coastal land. Shared facilities, pipelines, and roads could have produced the same amount of fuel with less damage to the coast.[8]

This facility is estimated to generate between 0.30 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) for every metric ton of LNG produced according to a 2013 report.[9]

Coal Seam Environmental Concerns

In December 2014, Queensland Curtis LNG became the world's first project to turn coal seam gas into LNG for export. Curtis Island's two other LNG plants, Queensland Curtis LNG Terminal and Gladstone LNG Terminal also convert coal seam gas into LNG.[10]

Coal seam gas projects in Australia are not without controversy. Coal seam gas (abbreviated "CSG") is formed by the geological process of heating and compressing plant matter to create coal. Over millions of years, methane forms within the coal. The methane is trapped by water in the gaps and cracks between the coal molecules. These gaps are known as cleats. Australia has been found to have many deposits, and is increasingly mining them through hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.[11]

CSG is a form of coalbed methane (CBM), or coalbed gas, and is a type of natural gas extracted from coal beds. In recent decades it has become an increasingly used source of energy in Australia, as well as the United States, Canada, and other countries.[11]

Australian green groups and farmers have raised concerns about coal seam gas development. In May 2010 four toxic chemicals - benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX) - were discovered in eight exploration wells owned by the Australia Pacific LNG Terminal in the Surat Basin. But the Queensland Government has ruled out a moratorium on the industry.[12]

Articles and resources

References

  1. Australia Pacific LNG Financing, IJGlobal, accessed May 2020
  2. Australia Pacific LNG Terminal, GEO, accessed April 2017
  3. Tegan Annett, "450 JOBS: Workers needed for major LNG plant shut down," The Observer, June 10, 2017.
  4. Qatar Moves to Ensure LNG Dominance, Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, April 17, 2017.
  5. [1] ConocoPhillips Australia, accessed July 2017
  6. "2017 World LNG Report" International Gas Union, Accessed June 20, 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Brian Williams, "Warning: Gladstone fish off the menu and central Qld coast closed to fishing," CourierMail, September 11, 2017.
  8. Dan Murtaugh, "Energy Titans Get Schooled in Sharing as Billions Seen Blown," Bloomberg, May 9, 2017.
  9. "BC’S Carbon Pollution Could Double with LNG Plants" Tarika Powell, Sightline Institute, June 7, 2017.
  10. Zara Margolis and Cassandra Hough, "Queensland company to be first in the world to export LNG from coal seam gas," ABC, December 23, 2014.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Jargon Buster". BG Group. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  12. "Federal Government approves coal seam gas projects in central Queensland" news.com.au, Oct. 22, 2010.

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