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

Location

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Project Details

  • Owner:
  • Parent: Woodside Petroleum (90%), Tokyo Gas (5%), Kansai Electric (5%)
  • Location: Perth, Burrup Peninsula, Western Australia, Australia
  • Coordinates: -20.6128, 116.76556 (exact)
  • Capacity: Train 1: 4.3 mtpa, 0.62 bcfd; Train 2: 5.0 mtpa
  • Additional Proposed Capacity:
  • Status: Train 1: Operating; Train 2: Proposed
  • Type: Export
  • Start Year: Train 1: 2012; Train 2: 2024

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

Background

Pluto LNG Terminal is an LNG terminal in Western Australia, Australia.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

As of 2017, Australia is the second largest LNG exporter after Qatar. The country exports almost 44 million tons a year. [5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8]

Environment

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.[9]

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.[9]

Opposition

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.[10]

Articles and resources

References

  1. Pluto LNG Terminal, A Barrel Full, accessed April 2017
  2. "BC’S Carbon Pollution Could Double with LNG Plants" Tarika Powell, Sightline Institute, June 7, 2017.
  3. Lenore Taylor,"Direct Action 'safeguards' will allow industry to increase emissions – analysts," The Guardian, September 2, 2015.
  4. Matt Chambers,"Woodside plans for growth phase ahead," The Australian, May 24, 2017.
  5. Diane Munro, [http://www.agsiw.org/qatar-moves-ensure-lng-dominance/ "Qatar Moves to Ensure LNG Dominance ,"] Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, April 17, 2017.
  6. Gareth Hutchens,"Australia must charge royalties on natural gas or lose billions, says expert," The Guardian, February 8, 2017.
  7. Woodside Enters FEED for Pluto Train 2, Oil & Gas Journal, Jan. 7, 2019
  8. $32 Billion In Australian Oil And Gas Work Deferred Till Markets Improve, Forbes, Mar. 27, 2020
  9. 9.0 9.1 Dan Murtaugh, "Energy Titans Get Schooled in Sharing as Billions Seen Blown," Bloomberg, May 9, 2017.
  10. Five Extinction Rebellion protestors arrested at WA parliament, Energy News Bulletin, Mar. 11, 2020

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