Australia has a long and very profitable heritage as an energy exporter. Most recently this has occurred via our extensive endowment of natural gas, and a significant demand for energy from Japan, Korea and China. Given Australia’s distance to market the only viable way to export this globally important source of energy has been to produce and ship Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Over the past six years, our nation’s LNG industry has leveraged these natural resources and rapidly grown capacity to export 80 million tonnes of LNG per annum, making Australia the world’s biggest exporter of this commodity.
However, Australia’s leadership of this export industry, and the associated revenue it delivers must adapt to the changing global environment.
In the near term, new, competitively sourced LNG supply from the USA, as well as Canada, the east coast of Africa and elsewhere threatens to displace Australian sales on the basis of price. To maintain its leadership, Australia’s LNG industry must reach new levels of efficiency in all parts of the LNG value chain by using less energy, processing lower grade natural gas with greater reliability and recovering more high value by products.
Additionally, decarbonisation by energy importers, particularly Japan and South Korea, means that we must broaden the focus of our energy exports to include Hydrogen and its derivatives.
This challenge presents the opportunity for Australia to leverage the know-how, capability, infrastructure and supply chains of our existing LNG industry, and build on our world-class renewable energy resources, to establish a global leading position in the nascent Hydrogen export industry.
The Future Energy Exports Cooperative Research Centre (FEnEx CRC) will execute cutting-edge, industry-led research, education and training to help sustain Australia’s position as a leading LNG exporter, and enable it to become the leading global Hydrogen exporter.