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    Oz to Set Up New LNG, Hydrogen Research Centre


The Future Energy Exports Cooperative Research Centre (FEnEx CRC) will develop and test new LNG and hydrogen technologies.

by: Shardul Sharma

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Oz to Set Up New LNG, Hydrogen Research Centre

The Australian federal government along with industry, Western Australian state government and research partners will establish the Future Energy Exports Cooperative Research Centre (FEnEx CRC) in an attempt to develop and test new LNG and hydrogen technologies, the University of Western Australia (UWA), which will lead the project, said March 13.

The federal minister for industry, science and technology, Karen Andrews, said the federal government will contribute a total of A$40mn (US$25mn) in co-funding to the CRC, which builds upon a further A$122mn in support from industry, state governments, and research organisations.

“The CRC’s mission is to ensure Australia’s vital LNG industry remains competitive, reduces its environmental footprint, and helps to grow hydrogen exports for new emerging markets,” the UWA said.

Upstream lobby group Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association said it looked forward "to working with the FEnEx CRC to investigate ways of shaping the Australian energy market into one that is even more efficient and contributes to a cleaner future energy mix at home and abroad.”

A foundation project of the FEnEx CRC will be establishing the LNG Futures Facility, a 10 metric tons/day research and teaching plant to be based at Kwinana. The project was announced by Western Australia premier Mark McGowan at the LNG19 conference in Shanghai almost a year ago. The state government committed A$10mn towards the plant as part of its LNG jobs taskforce commitments; UWA committed up to A$15mn. About A$16mn of the Commonwealth funding announced today will be allocated to the LNG Futures Facility, the UWA said.

Partners supporting the CRC bid include the Western Australian state government, global energy giant Chevron, hydrogen solutions provider ITM and mining company Mineral Resources, with research partners UWA, Curtin University, Queensland University of Technology, University of South Australia and Swinburne University.

Eric May, UWA’s Chevron chair in gas process engineering and FEnEx CRC acting CEO, said the centre aimed to future-proof Australia’s energy exports through industrial-scale innovation.

“FEnEx CRC will undertake cutting-edge, industry-led research, education and training to help sustain Australia’s position as a leading LNG exporter, and enable it to become the leading global exporter of clean hydrogen,” May said. “The FEnEx CRC will maintain the Australian LNG industry’s competitive edge by demonstrating technologies that enhance efficiency and lower environmental impact. Our established LNG sector is a key advantage in the race to grow a hydrogen export industry because of similar workforce skills, engineering standards, shipping routes, and business relationships.”