$1.4 billion Tasmanian green methanol project selects technology partners

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Abel Energy says it is scheduled to produce 300,000 tonnes per annum of green methanol by 2027 from its Bell Bay project. The $1.4 billion project is set to use technology from Johnson Matthey (JM), which Abel Energy described as the “world’s leading methanol synthesis technology and catalyst supplier.” 

It will also use biomass gasification technology and equipment systems from SunGas Renewables, a subsidiary of US-based GTI International. Abel said it has been working closely with both companies on the design and optimisation studies to fully integrate these technologies into the proposed Bell Bay facility.

The scale of the Bell Bay project has “increased substantially” since the company published its Knowledge-Sharing Report in June 2022 off the back of its $1.3 million feasibility study, partly funded by the Tasmanian government. 

“The increase in scale is partly in response to an extraordinary surge in forward demand for green methanol as a shipping fuel over the last 12 months,” Abel said. “The surge in demand for green methanol follows a host of new orders by most of the world’s major container shipping companies, led by Danish multinational A.P. Moller – Mǽrsk,” it added.

The project will now require 240 MW of electrolysis to produce the green hydrogen which will eventually become methanol.

The Bell Bay project is focussed on exports, with Abel noting its annual production is three times Australia’s current methanol consumption.

In June, Abel announced that it and its partner, Spanish energy group Iberdrola, had inked a deal to secure a site for the project. It plans to redevelop the mothballed Bell Bay Power Station, which was shuttered in 2009.

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