Partnership forms Australia’s first biomethane-to-gas project

Article by Amanda Doyle

ENERGY infrastructure company Jemena has entered a partnership with Sydney Water to inject biomethane generated from wastewater treatment into the gas distribution network.

Biomethane can easily be blended with natural gas, and the biomethane generated at Sydney Water’s Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant will be injected into Jemena’s New South Wales gas distribution network. The wastewater treatment plant will produce 95,000 GJ/y of biomethane, enough to provide gas for 6,300 homes, and it has the capacity to double production by 2030. The project could reduce emissions by around 5,000 t/y.

The A$14m (US$10m) project is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Government, Sydney Water and Jemena. Jemena has provided A$8.1m with the remaining A$5.9m provided by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). It is expected to be supplying biomethane to the gas network by 2022.

Jennifer Purdie, Executive General Manager, Gas Distribution, at Jemena said: “This agreement will see biomethane injected into the gas network for the first time in Australia. We are challenging the notion that the only way to be 100% renewable is through electrification, and this project will introduce the first renewable gas certificates to support our call for a national renewable gas certification scheme.”

Angus Taylor, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction,  said: “The Commonwealth Government is committed to partnering with industry and supporting projects that drive the gas-led recovery from the Covid-19 recession, which is why we are backing this exciting, innovative project. This project demonstrates the importance of our existing gas infrastructure for the roll-out of new energy technologies. Our gas pipelines provide the essential foundation needed so customers can access renewable gas and hydrogen.

“Gas is not a competitor for renewables, it is complementary. We will continue to take practical action to reduce emissions, while strengthening the economy and supporting jobs that rely on affordable, reliable energy.”

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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