BOC unfazed by Shell LNG withdrawal

Commercial vehicle gas supplier says it has made progress and will press ahead with expansion plans

BOC unfazed by Shell LNG withdrawal
BOC has firm commitment to LNG supply

BOC says it remains committed to expanding commercial transport LNG supply following Shell Australia’s decision to shelve plans for a gas refuelling chain along the Hume Freeway.

The gases and engineering company insists that the Shell move "to abandon its LNG plan" would "in no way impede the company’s own plans for growth with the exciting future fuel".

While Shell’s language surrounding its retreat was less definite than that, BOC acknowledged that the news was "a disappointment for the burgeoning industry".

And while observers and the broader gas industry expressed confidence about LNG’s future as a trucking fuel, there is little doubt the departure of such a strong player from the scene has been keenly felt among proponents.

BOC has been at the forefront of moves to make LNG available for commercial vehicles heavy and light, starting in Tasmania but with the intention of expanding nationally.  

Its General Manager for Strategy and Planning, Mike Karbanowicz, says the firm is a long-term player in LNG with a strong commitment to the industry.

"BOC was the first company in Australia to produce LNG and has been rolling out LNG supply chains and innovative refuelling technology since 2010,’’ Karbanowicz states.

"We originally welcomed Shell’s planned entry into the LNG market, announced by them last year, as a positive for the industry by providing greater access to and awareness off this important diesel alternative.

"However, Shell’s reported plans to now abandon their proposed Hume Highway LNG plan will have no impact on BOC’s own LNG strategy which will continue to focus heavily on developing local markets in addition to expanding globally through our parent company, The Linde Group.

"BOC is a leader in the LNG space. We continue to progress the establishment of an LNG highway for the heavy transport sector along Australia’s eastern seaboard.

"We are also innovating into new LNG applications, such as stationery energy and power generation, in remote communities.

"BOC is a pioneer in developing the LNG highway concept, having already rolled out Australia’s first Micro‐LNG plant at Westbury, Tasmania and, along with truck consortium LNGR, a network of refuelling stations around the island state in 2011.

"BOC will continue to invest in LNG plants and projects Australia‐wide to meet the changing needs of industry."

In support, Karbanowicz points to BOC spending about $65 million upgrading its Dandenong Air Separation Unit (ASU) and LNG facilities in 2010 to meet Australia’s growing need for eco‐friendly alternative fuels for heavy transport.

This is in addition to the development and construction of a micro‐LNG plant near Chinchilla in Queensland, which will also provide the trucking industry as well as remote communities with a cleaner alternative fuel.

Karbanowicz underlines BOC’s belief that state‐of‐the‐art energy efficiency technologies would form a key element of Australia’s future energy mix.

"BOC is very pleased to be playing its part in helping to reduce greenhouse emissions, develop new industry and boost regional and state economies through the delivery of safe, reliable and proven technology with our LNG plants and networks,’’ he says.

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