First shipment of Australian-made ethylene made to LNG sector

BOC and Qenos have shipped the first refrigerant grade ethylene to the major LNG plants of Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The partnership is said to significantly reduce reliance on ethylene imports and improve delivery time to customers.

Colin Isaac, BOC South Pacific managing director, said “BOC is proud to be supporting Australia’s local manufacturing and export industries by delivering Australia’s only locally-produced ethylene, a refrigerant required for the ongoing operation of these major LNG export plants.”

Ethylene is used to liquefy natural gas through successively cooled heat exchangers before the LNG is then pumped into insulated storage tanks where it remains until shipment.

Qenos traditionally manufactured ethylene to produce polyethylene for the plastics industry, but now as part of the ten-year multimillion dollar sourcing agreement, the gas is now available for large scale LNG export plants and will be delivered across the nation by BOC.

Jonathan Clancy, Qenos chief executive officer and executive chairman said “This collaboration brings together two significant industry capabilities that recognise BOC’s expertise in marketing and distribution of industrial gases, and the technical and manufacturing excellence Qenos provides in the production of ethylene.”

Securing a domestic source of ethylene through its partnership with Qenos, Mr Isaac explained, will provide greater supply security to the multi-billion dollar Australian LNG export industry. It will also cut delivery time for ethylene significantly as previous supplies of ethylene were shipped from north-east Asia. 

BOC has been increasing its domestic production and supply capability of industrial gases for the oil and gas sector with $100 million invested in Perth and Karratha production facilities, the opening of a $200 million micro-LNG plant and infrastructure in Chinchilla Queensland in 2014 and a $65 million upgrade to its Dandenong Air Separation Unit and LNG facilities in 2010. Planning is currently underway for a new investment in Sydney that will expand BOC’s scientific gas production capability.
 
Mr Isaac said “We are investing heavily in both local plant and local partnerships to enhance our supply capability. This minimises reliance on imports while increasing reliability of supply to Australia’s growth industries in oil and gas where significant quantities of industrial and specialty gases are required.”

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