Pluto LNG Terminal

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Pluto LNG Terminal is an LNG terminal in Western Australia, Australia.


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Project Details

Train 1

  • Operator: Woodside Energy[1]
  • Owner: Woodside Energy [90%], Tokyo Gas [5%], Kansai Electric [5%][2] (Pluto Joint Venture)[3]
  • Parent company: Woodside Energy [90%], Tokyo Gas [5%], Kansai Electric [5%][1]
  • Operator: Woodside Energy[2]
  • Location: Perth, Burrup Peninsula, Western Australia, Australia
  • Coordinates: -20.6128, 116.76556 (exact)
  • Type: Export
  • Capacity: 4.9 mtpa[1]
  • Cost: 12 billion USD[4]
  • Status: Operating
  • Type: Export
  • Start Year: 2012[1]

Train 2

  • Operator: Woodside Energy [2]
  • Owner: Woodside Burrup Train 2 A Pty Ltd [51%]; Global Infrastructure Partners [49%][2] (Pluto Train 2 Joint Venture)[3]
  • Parent company: Woodside Energy [51%], Global Infrastructure Partners [49%][5]
  • Location: Perth, Burrup Peninsula, Western Australia, Australia
  • Coordinates: -20.6128, 116.76556 (exact)
  • Type: Export
  • Capacity: 5.0 mtpa
  • Status: Construction[5][6]
  • Start Year: 2026[7]
  • Cost: US$5.6 billion[2]
  • FID: 2021

Train 3

  • Owner: Woodside Energy [90%], Tokyo Gas [5%], Kansai Electric [5%][2] (Pluto Joint Venture)[3]
  • Parent: Woodside Energy, Tokyo Gas, Kansai Electric
  • Location: Perth, Burrup Peninsula, Western Australia, Australia
  • Coordinates: -20.6128, 116.76556 (exact)
  • Type: Export[8]
  • Capacity: 4.3 mtpa[9]
  • Status: Cancelled[9]
  • Start Year:

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


Pluto LNG Terminal is an LNG terminal in Western Australia, Australia.[10]

This facility is estimated to generate between 0.36 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) for every metric ton of LNG produced according to a 2013 report.[11]

In 2015 The Guardian reported that Australia’s top 20 emitting facilities include the Wheatstone LNG Terminal, Gorgon LNG Terminal, Ichthys LNG Terminal, and Pluto LNG Terminal.[12]

In 2017 Woodside, Australia's biggest oil and gas company, cancelled a small expansion of Pluto. Instead it developed plans to connect their smaller Pluto LNG Terminal with their North West Shelf LNG Terminal on the Burrup Peninsula.[13]

As of 2017, Australia is the second largest LNG exporter after Qatar. The country exports almost 44 million tons a year. [14]

In 2017 it was discovered that the petroleum resource rent tax had failed to collect billions of dollars in revenue north-west Australia. According to research at Monash University, Wheatstone LNG Terminal, Pluto LNG Terminal, and Ichthys LNG Terminal are not subect to commonwealth royalities.[15]

In August 2022, construction began on the second train.[6]

In October 2022, LNGPrime reported that U.S.-based EIG's LNG unit MidOcean Energy had entered an agreement to purchase Tokyo Gas's share of four Australian LNG projects, including Pluto LNG Terminal. The deal was expected to close in the first half of 2023.[16]

In December 2022, Western Gas said it had partnered with participants of North West Shelf project and Woodside Energy's Pluto LNG plant to annually process up to 3 million tonnes of low carbon dioxide gas from the Equus gas project off Western Australia for LNG export from 2027.[17][18]

In May 2023, Woodside investigated an incident at a flare tower which resulted in an "audible release." Australia’s Offshore Alliance said in a social media post that “Friday night’s explosion at Pluto was not simply an “audible release” as they’ve told employees and contractors...Woodside are lucky that no one was killed or seriously injured as the explosion shook the ground and surrounding crib huts."[19]

In July 2023, construction of the second train was reportedly 38% complete.[20]

In August 2023, Woodside agreed to sell 10% of the Scarborough Joint Venture to LNG Japan. This doesn't appear to affect ownership of the LNG terminal itself, but in the deal LNG Japan would take up to 1.7 mtpa of LNG from the deal.[21]

In September 2023, Australia's federal court reversed regulatory approval for the offshore seismic survey that the Pluto project relied on to move forward for Train 2, implying a potential delay to the slated 2026 startup of Train 2.[22]

Proposed expansion

A second train with 5-mtpa capacity has been proposed. In January 2019, Woodside announced that it planned to achieve a final investment decision (FID) by 2020 and commission the expansion in 2024.[23] Later, the beginning of operations at the plant were pushed back until 2026.[7]

A proposal for a third train has been cancelled.[9]

In March 2020, Woodside announced that it was delaying the final investment decision for the expansion as part of a package of spending cutbacks (estimated at US$32 billion) it had been compelled to make owing to its plunging stock-market value brought about by turmoil in the oil and gas markets which has been exacerbated by the global coronavirus pandemic.[24]

In November 2021, Woodside announced a final investment decision (FID) on the Scarborough gas field development and Pluto's Train 2, which would process Scarborough natural gas.[25] In January 2022, Woodside completed the sale of a 49% non-operating participating interest to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for the second train, for which the estimated capital expenditure is US$5.6 billion.[2]

In August 2022, construction on Pluto LNG's second train began. The engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor for the project is Bechtel.[5]

As of July 2023, development of the second train and the Scarborough gas field were 38% complete.[26]


Bloomberg published an article in 2017 claiming the Wheatstone LNG Terminal is designed to let other producers use its equipment to liquefy their gas. Woodside is pursuing a similar strategy. It is courting energy giants like Exxon and Shell to let go of plans for new LNGs in favor of feeding gas into its Pluto LNG Terminal.[27]

The Wheatstone and Woodside strategy of sharing facilities with competitors is likely a lesson from Curtis Island. The island's three plants in Australia (Australia Pacific LNG Terminal, Gladstone LNG Terminal, Queensland Curtis LNG Terminal) as an example of having exorbitant infrastructure duplication that it could have saved $10 billion on the combined $70 billion LNG projects. 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.[27]


In March 2020 protesters glued themselves to a banister in the Western Australia parliament and dropped leaflets opposing the Burrup LNG Hub on Ministers. "We're going to erode and efface their social license the way they're eroding and effacing the Murujuga rock art on the Burrup Peninsula," said one protestor.[28]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (May 24, 2022). "Annual Report 2022 Edition" (PDF). GIIGNL. Retrieved July 11, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Woodside concludes 2nd Pluto LNG train stake sale with GIP". Offshore Energy. 2022-01-18. Retrieved 2022-01-21.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-08-04. {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. "Pluto LNG – Mechademy". Retrieved 2022-07-21.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 GIIGNL. The LNG Industry: GIIGNL Annual Report 2023. July 14, 2023.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "". {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 "GIIGNL 2021 Annual Report”, page 38, GIIGNL, accessed May 4, 2021.
  8. Pluto LNG Mechademy, accessed April 23, 2021
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 BloombergNEF LNG Export and Import Projects--Q4 2020, BloombergNEF, January 21, 2021
  10. Pluto LNG Terminal, A Barrel Full, accessed April 2017
  11. "BC’S Carbon Pollution Could Double with LNG Plants" Tarika Powell, Sightline Institute, June 7, 2017.
  12. Lenore Taylor,"Direct Action 'safeguards' will allow industry to increase emissions – analysts," The Guardian, September 2, 2015.
  13. Matt Chambers,"Woodside plans for growth phase ahead," The Australian, May 24, 2017.
  14. Diane Munro, [ "Qatar Moves to Ensure LNG Dominance ,"] Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, April 17, 2017.
  15. Gareth Hutchens,"Australia must charge royalties on natural gas or lose billions, says expert," The Guardian, February 8, 2017.
  16. LNG Prime Staff (2022-10-07). "EIG's unit to buy Tokyo Gas' interests in four Australian LNG projects for $2.15 billion". LNG Prime. Retrieved 2023-07-20.
  17. Reuters. Western Gas partners up to process gas from Australia's Equus LNG project. December 19, 2022.
  18. LNG Prime Staff (2022-12-20). "Woodside and partners ink deals to liquefy Equus gas at Pluto and NWS LNG plants". LNG Prime. Retrieved 2023-07-20.
  19. LNG Prime Staff (2023-05-29). "Australia's Woodside investigating Pluto LNG incident". LNG Prime. Retrieved 2023-07-20.
  20. "". {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. "". {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. "". {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. Woodside Enters FEED for Pluto Train 2, Oil & Gas Journal, Jan. 7, 2019
  24. $32 Billion In Australian Oil And Gas Work Deferred Till Markets Improve, Forbes, Mar. 27, 2020
  25. "SCARBOROUGH AND PLUTO TRAIN 2 DEVELOPMENTS APPROVED" (PDF). Woodside Energy. Retrieved 2022-01-07.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. LNG Prime Staff (2023-07-19). "Woodside's Scarborough and second Pluto LNG train project 38 percent complete". LNG Prime. Retrieved 2023-07-20.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Dan Murtaugh, "Energy Titans Get Schooled in Sharing as Billions Seen Blown," Bloomberg, May 9, 2017.
  28. Five Extinction Rebellion protestors arrested at WA parliament, Energy News Bulletin, Mar. 11, 2020

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