Jemena’s $16 million Malabar Biomethane project has begun equipment work on its upgrader package in Australia’s first biomethane-to-gas network project.

The Malabar Biomethane project is just one of Jemena’s suite of renewable gas projects. The upgrade project is being completed in partnership with Sydney Water and co-funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Brisbane company Eneraque is fabricating the upgrader equipment.

Biomethane upgraders remove water, carbon dioxide, other gases and contaminants from wastewater to produce renewable biomethane which can then be injected into the gas network.

The Malabar Biomethane project is expected to remove 5,000 tonnes of carbon emissions – the equivalent of taking around 4,500 cars off the road – and potentially 11,000 tonnes if scaled up to its full potential, making it a significant contributor to the NSW Government’s Stage 1, Net Zero Plan, to cut emissions by 35 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

The facility is expected to produce the first biomethane for injection into the Sydney gas network later this year. It will be the first participant in GreenPower’s renewable gas certification pilot, which will help energy customers directly support Australian renewable gas projects.

Jemena’s General Manager of Renewable Gas, Gabrielle Sycamore, said that the company was pleased that work on the upgrader was being undertaken in Australia, leveraging local manufacturing expertise and capabilities.

“Fabricating the upgrader package in Australia is a great step towards helping to build a new design and manufacturing industry which will support our renewable energy transition,” Ms Sycamore said.

“We’re excited about the potential for bioenergy and biofuels to help decarbonise sectors of our economy, like manufacturing, which rely on gas as a feedstock, as well as provide renewable gas for customers to use at home.

“Biomethane production is a great example of creating a circular economy – it keeps products and materials in use, reducing the production of new waste and pollution, and regenerating natural systems.

“Projections indicate that by the start of the next decade, with the right policy support, the bioenergy sector could create about 26,200 jobs.”

According to the Australian Government’s Bioenergy Roadmap, released in November 2021, in addition to new jobs, the bioenergy sector could contribute to around $10 billion in extra GDP per annum, reduce emissions by about 9 per cent, divert an extra 6 per cent of waste from landfill, and enhance fuel security.

For more information about Jemena’s renewable gas projects, information is available here.

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