In Australia, renewable energy development company Southern Green Gas Ltd (SGG) has announced that it has secured AU$2.2 million to develop its ground-breaking renewable methane product. The company has entered into agreements with a leading Australian energy infrastructure company, APA Group, for the funding and development of an AU$2.2 million project to demonstrate the production of renewable methane.
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Under the agreements, the project will receive AU$1.1 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program. APA Group will be the recipient of this funding and will match the ARENA funding with a further AU$1.1 million.
APA Group has contracted Southern Green Gas (SGG) to design, build, and test the project that will be located on APA land at the major Wallumbilla gas hub in southern Queensland (QLD). The project is expected to take two years to complete.
Subject to the successful outcome of the SNG demo project, SGG and APA intend to jointly develop commercial renewable methane projects. To facilitate this, SGG and APA have also entered into a Commercialisation Deed whereby APA will undertake the build-own-operate role, on an exclusive basis for ten years.
SGG’s role will be to develop the projects, coordinate the manufacture of process modules, and secure customers for the methane.
The reason we have chosen methane as the carrier for renewable energy is the ability to utilize the existing gas infrastructure system. The existing gas pipeline network allows us to access customers here in Australia, as well as export customers such as Japan and South Korea, through the existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) system, said Rohan Gillespie, Managing Director, SGG.
Renewable methane process
The process combines renewable hydrogen, made from water and solar energy, with carbon dioxide (CO2) extracted from the air. The CO2 extracted from the air offsets the CO2 emitted when the synthetic methane (SNG) is used, thereby making the whole energy system carbon neutral.
The process is modularised, to facilitate mass manufacture and therefore minimise component and production costs. The project will involve a module as shown diagrammatically below.
We believe renewable methane offers the best solution to creating a major new export industry for Australia, leveraging its globally competitive advantage in solar energy. APA, being the owner and operator of most of Australia’s high-pressure gas pipeline system, is the logical partner for SGG. We are delighted to be partnering with them. We also acknowledge the important contribution from ARENA and its commitment to advancing renewable energy, said Rohan Gillespie.