Green Methanol Pact Opens Path for Townsville to Enter Global Green Shipping Network
Green Methanol Pact Opens Path for Townsville to Enter Global Green Shipping Network

Green Methanol Pact Opens Path for Townsville to Enter Global Green Shipping Network

  • 15-Mar-2024 3:11 PM
  • Journalist: Gabreilla Figueroa

Townsville is poised to emerge as a prominent global hub for the production, export, and distribution of green methanol, propelled by the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ABEL Energy and the Port of Townsville. This strategic agreement lays the foundation for ABEL Energy's ambitious plans to establish a cutting-edge manufacturing facility in Townsville, with an investment of $1.7 billion, aimed at producing and exporting green methanol. Furthermore, the collaboration between ABEL Energy and the Port of Townsville will explore avenues for setting up marine bunkering facilities at the Townsville Port, positioning Townsville as a pivotal waypoint within the burgeoning green shipping network.

The envisioned Townsville project seeks to emulate the success of ABEL Energy's flagship initiative, the Bell Bay Powerfuels project in Tasmania. The proposed facility in Townsville is slated to have an annual production capacity of 400,000 tonnes of green methanol, catering primarily to the shipping and aviation sectors. Notably, ABEL's green methanol production process is characterized by its utilization of 100% renewable power, fresh water, and biomass residues. Both the existing production site in Bell Bay and the proposed facility in Townsville adhere to stringent environmental standards, operating with minimal greenhouse gas emissions, water emissions, or waste discharge.

Townsville presents an ideal setting for ABEL Energy's second green methanol production facility due to its abundance of wind and solar energy resources, coupled with the ample availability of biomass in the form of sugar cane waste, invasive pest species, prickly acacia, and woodchip. Beyond ABEL's direct investment, the proposed project holds promise for the region, offering additional benefits such as trade expansion and employment opportunities.

This initiative resonates with the Port of Townsville's steadfast commitment to fostering sustainable energy projects and consolidates its position as a pivotal facilitator of trade and economic development. Against the backdrop of the shipping industry's profound transformation towards decarbonization to meet the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets, ABEL Energy's project presents a compelling opportunity. It envisages the establishment of green methanol marine bunkering facilities at the Port of Townsville, alongside the exportation of renewable energy to global markets.

The MoU delineates a collaborative endeavor between the Port of Townsville and ABEL Energy, aimed at conducting comprehensive assessments to evaluate the feasibility of the proposed project. Initial investigations will encompass market assessments, logistical analyses, and identification of infrastructure requirements, with both parties committed to advancing the project cooperatively.

ABEL Energy joins a burgeoning cohort of proponents seeking to leverage the Port of Townsville for exporting renewable energy, alongside entities such as Edify Energy, Origin Energy, and Ark Energy Corporation. This collective momentum underscores Townsville's burgeoning role as a prominent player in the renewable energy landscape, poised to make significant strides towards sustainability and economic growth.

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