Construction on Australia’s first Micro-LNG plant officially commenced this week, when the Premier of Tasmania participated in a groundbreaking BOC ceremony at Westbury, Tasmania.

To be operated by BOC Australia, the Micro-LNG plant will have the capacity to produce around 50 tonnes per day of LNG and is expected to be in operation by mid 2010.

Demonstrating the significance of this leading Australian project to the Tasmania region, Premier the Hon. David Bartlett MP participated in the groundbreaking start-of-construction ceremony.

Clearly enthusiastic, he said, “We are proud to provide a business environment where BOC has chosen Tasmania to lead the Australian industry implementing their world-class expertise in the alternative fuel space.”

“This is innovation in action and an important investment in new generation jobs.”

Just as fervent was BOC South Pacific Managing Director Colin Isaac. He explained, “BOC is investing $150m across Tasmania in the construction and operation of the Micro-LNG plant and supplying six re-fuelling stations to LNG Refuellers Pty Ltd.”

“In an Australian first, this Micro-LNG plant is being built with the specific purpose of supplying LNG to the heavy transport sector. The Westbury plant will produce fuel that will be distributed by LNG Refuellers. The plant produces enough fuel for about 120 trucks and will be available to any Tasmanian fleet operator wanting to reap the benefits of this fuel.”

Isaac added, “This plant will prove BOC’s capability to roll out similar projects nationwide. Once operational this plant will have the capacity to produce 50 tonnes per day of LNG, which is the equivalent of 70,000 litres of conventional diesel.”

The plant is expected to be fully operational by July 2010.