McDermott International, Inc. has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Darwin Clean Fuels Pty Ltd. The MOU is for the feasibility study, technology, front-end engineering design (FEED) and engineering procurement and construction (EPC) for a Clean Fuels Condensate Processing Plant in Darwin, in the Northern Territory, Australia.
“The refinery would leverage our proprietary technologies, including alkylation and sulphur recovery, and is evidence of McDermott’s technology-led EPC capabilities,” says Ian Prescott, Senior Vice President of Asia Pacific. “Our engineering feasibility studies often serve as the essential underpinning of client decisions about moving forward with major investments.”
Condensate is a cleaner fuel; it is a light petroleum liquid that condenses from natural gas, requiring less processing to create quality transport fuels. Australia is a major producer of condensate which is forecast to export 260,000 barrels per day by 2020, growing to 305,000 bpd by 2030 (FGE Condensate Annual 2019). Darwin Clean Fuels plans to design, build and operate the condensate plant which has 75% lower CO2 emissions than crude oil refineries. Australia consumes some 1,000,000 barrels a day of transport fuels and currently imports 600,000 barrels per day to meet its transport fuel needs.
“Darwin Clean Fuels looks forward to the next phase of the project with McDermott to move it toward a final investment decision,” says Tony Debenham, Darwin Clean Fuels, Managing Director. “The Clean Fuels Condensate Refinery is a great, long-term investment in Australia, creating jobs and contributing to the economy by reducing the reliance on fuel imports. It also creates an opportunity to maximise both the output and use of this great resource by refining condensate onshore in Australia rather than exporting it overseas for processing it into petrochemicals or refinery blendstock, helping to address the long-term fuel security issues that Australia faces.”
As part of the initial contract, McDermott will undertake the feasibility study and FEED through to final investment decision. Upon final investment decision, McDermott will be the lead EPC contractor for the refinery. Early phase engineering work will commence immediately and be completed by quarter one in 2020.