Backing for green methanol plant in Townsville

Townsville’s position as a renewable energy hub is strengthened with news that ABEL Energy plans to produce and export green methanol from a new $1.7 billion manufacturing facility.

An MOU has been signed with the Port of Townsville which will see Abel scoping plans to set up marine bunkering facilities at the city’s port.

The Townsville project looks to replicate the company’s flagship project, Bell Bay Powerfuels in Tasmania says ABEL Energy chief executive officer Michael van Baarle.

Mr van Baarle says it would produce 300,000 tonnes per annum of green methanol for the shipping and aviation sectors.

“ABEL’s green methanol production process uses 100 per cent renewable power, fresh water and biomass residues,” says Mr van Baarle.

“Our production site in Bell Bay – and the one planned for Townsville – is clean in operation with virtually zero greenhouse gas emissions, water emissions or waste discharge.

“Townsville poses an ideal location for our second green methanol production facility due to the availability of wind and solar energy, along with the large amount of readily available biomass in the forms of sugar cane waste, invasive pest species, prickly acacia and woodchip.”

Other proponents seeking to export renewable energy through the Port of Townsville include Edify Energy, Origin Energy and Ark Energy Corporation.

The proposed project presents benefits for the region that expanded beyond ABEL’s direct investment says Port of Townsville chief executive officer Ranee Crosby.

“The world’s shipping industry is facing enormous change as it seeks to decarbonise fleets globally to meet International Maritime Organisation’s long-term GHG reduction ambitions,” she says.

“ABEL Energy’s project presents an exciting opportunity to provide green methanol marine bunkering facilities at the Port of Townsville, as well as exporting renewable energy to global markets.”

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