Company envisages shipping full cargoes of the carbon-neutral product by 2030 and is already in talks with shipowners
7 September 2021 22:59 GMT UPDATED 7 September 2021 22:59 GMT By Lucy Hine in London
An historic first bunkering of a vessel with synthetic LNG or e-LNG is due to take place in Germany this month — but, on the other side of the world, Australian renewable energy company Southern Green Gas (SGG) has a plan to dramatically scale up production of the carbon-neutral fuel.
SGG managing director Rohan Gillespie told TradeWinds that the company is already in talks with potential buyers, including two shipowners with LNG dual-fuelled newbuildings.
"We would like to see cargoes leaving Australia in substantial volumes by 2030," he said.
Synthetic LNG is produced by generating electricity from low-carbon or renewable-energy sources to conduct electrolysis — splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. CO2 is added, creating methane and water.
In Australia, Gillespie said SGG plans to extract CO2 from the atmosphere and use solar energy for the electrolysis to produce synthetic, or what the company terms "renewable methane".
He said the technology also allows the required water — a scarce resource in Australia — to be taken from the atmosphere.
Key to the design is the use of small renewable methane production modules containing all the processes that can be mass manufactured to keep costs down.