$4.8 million in funding through the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centres Initiative will fund eight projects that will boost cross-industry innovation, collaboration and sustainability in the resources sector.

Acting Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Michaelia Cash, said the projects funded through National Energy Resources Australia’s (NERA) Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Growth Centre, will leverage a further $5.7 million from industry partners.

“These industry-led projects will help secure the Australian industry’s position at the forefront of global technology development,” Ms Cash said.

The funded projects include a feasibility study led by the University of Western Australia into the LNG Futures Living Lab — which will be a fully functioning, small-scale LNG plant designed to enable researchers and innovators to test and validate new products, services, and process using an Industry 4.0 platform. The University of Western Australia will be offered $1.7 million in funding for this project.

“The planned LNG Futures Facility is a leading example of an Industry 4.0 Testlab in Australia. It will bring Australian industry, in this case developers of LNG process technologies, to the forefront of global developments,” Ms Cash said.

“This national, open-access resource will provide direct benefits to Australian industry and researchers across the energy resources sector. It will allow firms to test new technologies without putting the operations of a real LNG plant at risk, and provide advanced training for researchers and students, ensuring Australia has the required skills for the future.”

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, said other projects funded through NERA included innovative clean technology projects for the energy resources sector.

“This highly competitive funding round received strong interest from clean technology innovators keen to partner with businesses in the oil and gas, coal and uranium industries,” Mr Canavan said.

Key projects include:

  • Developing a low cost, mobile water treatment system for coal seam gas developments which produces clean, reusable water. The system will reduce plant operating costs and improve its environmental footprint. Ali-Jak Environmental Solutions will receive $1.125 million in funding for this project
  • Delivery of a new methane capture technology. This new technology has the potential to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Australian underground coal mines. NERA has awarded Our Energy Group $750,000 in funding to deliver this technology
  • Boosting capabilities for Australia’s energy resources and METS sectors by developing transferable methods and skills for assessing the radiological impacts of projects. Flinders University will lead this project and receive a grant of $208,600

“These projects will bring economic and environmental benefits to Australia’s crucial resources sector, whilst driving innovation that will secure its competitiveness within the rapidly evolving global marketplace,” Mr Canavan said.

“I’m delighted to see NERA continuing to deliver on its 10-year Sector Competitiveness Plan to secure a strong future for Australia’s oil, gas, coal and uranium industries that will create jobs and investment in regional Australia.”

NERA is one of six industry-led growth centres established under the Australian Government’s $238 million Industry Growth Centres Initiative. With base funding from the Australian Government, NERA works with energy resources companies, their supply chains, research and innovation partners, and with governments under a shared vision to drive the sector forward.

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