BOC Ltd is enjoying a fruitful first half of 2011 in clean energy projects, having opened Australia’s first Micro-LNG plant in Westbury, Tasmania and also secured a long-term gas supply contract with Perdaman Chemicals & Fertilisers (PCF).

BOC Ltd announced that it had secured a long-term industrial gas supply contract to the value of an estimated AUS$1bn with PCF in March. The latter is planning to utilise clean energy technology to enrich the world’s crops with urea.

Under the contract, BOC will supply nitrogen and oxygen over a 20-year period with an additional five-year option to the Perdaman project, which will transform sub-bituminous coal into urea using innovative and clean coal gasification technology.

Two BOC air separation plants will produce approximately 4,800 tonnes of oxygen per day and around 7,000 tonnes of nitrogen per day, more than doubling the current Australian and New Zealand total industry supply of air gases. The ‘Collie’ ASU project will take three years to complete and is expected to start construction in the third quarter of 2011 – post the conclusion of Perdaman’s project financing.

A month earlier and BOC Ltd was lauding the opening of Australia’s first Micro-LNG plant in Westbury, providing an economical low- emissions fuel alternative for the heavy transport sector.

The $150m project comprises the construction and operation of the Micro-LNG plant and supplying six re-fuelling stations to trucking consortium LNG Refuellers Pty Ltd across Tasmania. The project has been jointly funded by BOC, LNG Refuellers and government grants.

In a statement confirming the contract win with PCF, BOC South Pacific Managing Director, Colin Isaac, said the contract to supply nitrogen and oxygen was a significant milestone for the company, underpinning its commitment to clean and innovative technology solutions.

“We see clean coal gasification as a major growth area so we are delighted to be on board with Perdaman who are promoting best-in-class technologies in this field, adding value to Australia’s existing coal resources and supporting Australian industry,” he said.

In a February (2011) press release for the opening of the Micro-LNG plant in Westbury, Isaac had earlier described the company’s commitment to clean fuels and noted that the plant was itself a ‘milestone’ for Australia’s LNG industry.

He explained that the Westbury plant was a forerunner to similar technology the company hoped to roll on the mainland in a long-term commitment and said, “We are delighted to have reached this significant company milestone with the launch of Australia’s first Micro-LNG plant built with the specific purpose of supplying LNG to the heavy transport sector.”

Isaac said the Westbury Micro-LNG plant had the capacity to produce 50 tonnes per day of LNG which is the equivalent of 70,000 litres of conventional diesel.