The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has announced the launch of the A$162m ($100m) research centre to help the Australian LNG industry address the challenges of productivity, cost and decarbonisation.

Supported by A$40m ($24.7m) Federal Government grant, the Future Energy Exports Cooperative Research Centre (FEnEx CRC) aims to assist ongoing innovations, lower LNG production costs, and helps in growing hydrogen exports for new emerging markets.

The FEnEx CRC, which is a national collaboration of 28 industry, government, and research partners, aims to ensure Australia’s LNG industry remains competitive and reduce its environmental footprint.

In a bid to help advance efficiency solutions, the CRC will establish the LNG Futures Facility, a 10 tonne-per-day plant at Kwinana in Western Australia.

LNG Futures Facility to create 1,400 jobs

Expected to create up to 1,400 jobs, the proposed LNG Futures Facility will be equipped to allow LNG companies, contractors, service providers and small to medium businesses to test and refine new processes in a live plant environment.

Future Energy Exports CRC chair Mary Hackett said: “As we face a future of severe pressure to maintain living standards yet reduce adverse environmental effects the FEnEx CRC will work at a pragmatic level to make LNG production more efficient and less emissive while ensuring industry, academic and government partners work to co-create the framework, tools and technologies to position Australia as the leader in next generation fuels such as Hydrogen.”

The LNG Futures Facility is backed by the State Government funding of A$10m ($6.1m) over 10 years as well as up to A$15m ($9.2m) from the University of Western Australia.

The University of Western Australia, Chevron, Shell, Hyundai Heavy Industries and National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) are funding the feasibility and engineering studies for the LNG Futures Facility.

Last year, the University of Western Australia (UWA) and its partners have opened a joint research laboratory to position Western Australia as a global energy hub leader.

The Centre for Long Subsea Tiebacks laboratory located at UWA aims to focus on long subsea ‘tieback’ discoveries that will enhance industry’s understanding of hostile deep-sea conditions.