A new Northern Territory-based $500 million methanol plant could see the creation of 1000 construction jobs.
Coogee, a Western Australian chemical company has begun a feasibility study into a plant near Darwin.
It aims to produce 350,000 tonnes of methanol per year and would be located at the Middle Arm industrial precinct. Methanol is used as a fuel additive and is used in the production of products such as textiles and pharmaceuticals.
A final investment decision is expected in the first quarter of 2021, with construction set to commence soon after.
The project is expected to begin operating by 2024 and is estimated to create 350 indirect and direct ongoing jobs.
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It follows Chief Minister Michael Gunner’s five-point NT Gas Strategy, which aims to drive the Territory Government’s vision of making the region a world class hub for gas production, manufacturing and services by 2030.
“There is enormous opportunity in the Territory to build a manufacturing hub, which will create many hundreds of permanent local jobs. I have long said the Northern Territory can be a world class hub for gas production and manufacturing – it is a value-add industry right here in the NT,” Gunner said.
“I’ve met with Coogee and have been encouraging them to invest right here in the Top End.
“They believe in the Territory’s economy and are keen to invest in Territory jobs.”
Coogee is working with the NT Government Gas Task Force and the Power and Water Corporation as it undertakes the studies. Coogee owns Australia’s only methanol plant, which operated for 22 years before closing in March due to high east coast gas prices.
Middle Arm is already home to the ConocoPhillips Darwin LNG Plant and the INPEX Ichthys Onshore LNG Processing Facility.
Coogee Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Grant Lukey said, “The proposed Methanol Plant will be strategically located in Darwin to take advantage of its abundant gas supply and its proximity to the south east Asia market. The proposed plant will use innovative, low-emission technology.”