Oil shale plant may be built after other projects die down

Queensland Energy Resources, which has constructed a small-scale technology demonstration plant in Gladstone, is beginning to look for investors who would help bring the first commercial project to fruition.

Earlier this year the State Government lifted a ban on oil shale mining, which allowed QER to seek approval for a commercial operation.

But the government said strict environmental controls would apply to any proposal to mine and process oil shale.

QER operations manager Chris Anderson told an audience at the Gladstone Engineering Alliance Major Industry Conference presented by Golding on Thursday that a full-scale commercial plant would see the production of 60-70,000 barrels a day.

“Now we’ve got access to the normal project approval pathway – that’s something we didn’t have a while ago,” he said.

“In terms of when we would look to execute a project, obviously things are pretty hot in Gladstone right now with the amount of work going on.

“But as the known projects are ramping down, we’ll be coming along shortly after those, all going well, to start our project.”

He said the trial plant had been producing 30-40 barrels a day, but the purpose of the plant was for information.

“It’s got all the complexities of a full-scale facility but it’s small,” he said.
“We believe it’s the first of its kind in the world … that actually produces finished transport fuels.”

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