Fortescue looks to run Pilbara fleet on gas

A map of Fortescue's Pilbara operations.

A map of Fortescue's Pilbara operations.

Fortescue Metals Group is planning to construct a new gas pipeline in Western Australia’s Pilbara, extending its recently completed 270 km, 406.4 mm Fortescue River Gas Pipeline to the Chichester Hub.

Fortescue Metals Group Development Director Peter Meurs told the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) 2015 Conference that the company is looking to run its whole WA iron ore operations on gas.

DBP Development Group (DDG), in joint venture with TransAlta’s wholly-owned subsidiary TEC Pilbara, completed work on the from the Fortescue River Gas Pipeline, connecting the Dampier Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline to Fortescue’s Solomon Hub iron ore operations earlier this year.

The pipeline was the longest gas pipeline built in WA in the past ten years, aiming to reduce the company’s diesel use from about 750 MMl/a to 580 MMl/a.

The gas pipeline to Chichester could reduce diesel usage by a further 80 MMl/a, increasing the company’s gasification of its operations in the Pilbara.

“We would put a small gas-to-liquids plant at Solomon and another at Chichester that woul allow us to go 100 per cent gas, using about 100 TJ/d of gas,” Mr Meurs said.

“We’re interested in technology developments in gas-to-liquids as well as continuing to pursue the LNG option.”

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