The Western Australian government will offer incentives for the international shipping industry to use the state’s Pilbara region as a refuelling hub for liquefied natural gas.
International Maritime Organisation regulations require trading vessels to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and the industry is turning to LNG as a transition fuel as it works towards clean hydrogen and other carbon-free fuels.
Premier Mark McGowan says to encourage ships to refuel in the Pilbara the government will offer a 50 percent discount on port dues to bulk vessels, saving each vessel about A$20,000.
The discount comes into effect from July and will remain in place for five years.
McGowan says the refuelling hub could create up to 125 jobs and cut annual carbon emissions by six million tonnes as the ships which take iron ore exports from the region transition from heavy fuel oil to LNG.
Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan says major resources companies have already tendered for LNG-fuelled bulk vessels to carry iron ore from the Pilbara and are beginning negotiations about where to bunker those ships.
“We’ve moved quickly to capitalise on this opportunity before our competitors in South East Asia claim the mantle,” she said.
“Importantly, a Pilbara LNG bunkering hub provides the platform for Western Australia to become the region’s major renewable hydrogen producer and fuelling stop, driving down carbon emissions from shipping and creating a whole new industry.”