Western Australia pushing for Pilbara LNG bunkering plans

The Western Australian government is pushing forward to create an international LNG bunkering hub in Pilbara in a move to reduce carbon emissions.

As part of the plan, the government is introducing new incentives encouraging ships to use cleaner fuels like LNG.

The government led by premier Mark McGowan will offer a 50 percent discount in port dues to bulk vessels bunkering with LNG in Pilbara Ports.

The move means saving each vessel around $20,000, according to a statement by the WA government released on Saturday.

The discount comes into effect on July 1, 2020 and will remain in place for five years.

If taken up, the discounts could be worth up to $5.3 million by 2025, the statement said.

The Pilbara LNG bunkering hub could create up to 125 jobs in the Pilbara, including skilled mariners and support administration.

Transitioning iron ore exports shipped from the Pilbara from heavy fuel oil vessels to LNG-powered ships will also cut emissions.

Using LNG could slash carbon emissions by up to six million tonnes per annum, the statement said.

To help kick-start the shift, the Pilbara Ports Authority recently granted ship-to-ship LNG bunkering licenses to Australian LNG player Woodside.

The Pilbara region has its advantages for such plans because it already hosts LNG production plants such as Woodside’s Pluto.

Besides LNG fuelling plans, the WA government is also driving opportunities in green hydrogen in the region.

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