Jemena trials biomethane in NSW

Gas valves

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) – on behalf of the Australian Government – has announced $5.9 million in funding for the injection of biomethane into the natural gas network in NSW.

The biomethane-to-gas project will power more than 6,000 NSW homes and see Sydney homes and businesses use renewable green gas for cooking, heating and hot water.

Jemena and Sydney Water signed an agreement to generate biomethane at the Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant in South Sydney, with the zero-carbon emission biomethane gas then being injected into Jemena’s NSW gas distribution network.

Jemena Executive General Manager Gas Distribution Dr Jennifer Purdie said it will be the first time in Australia that biomethane is injected into a gas network, with an initial capacity of 95 TJ of renewable gas per year and a potential to reach up to 200 TJ a year.

Dr Jennifer Purdie

“We estimate there’s at least another 30,000 TJ of biomethane that has the potential to be unlocked around our NSW gas infrastructure.

“That’s enough to supply all our current residential customers with carbon neutral, green gas,” said Dr Purdie.

“Our customers have told us they want to purchase verified and accredited zero emission green gas as is currently the case for renewable electricity.

“We are challenging the notion that the only way to be 100 per cent renewable is through electrification, and this project will introduce the first renewable gas certificates to support our call for a national renewable gas certification scheme.”

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said this Australian-first will show how biomethane could help to supplement domestic gas supplies and decarbonise the gas network. 

“The injection of biomethane into the natural gas network is currently unproven in Australia due to a range of technical, regulatory and commercial factors,” he said.

“Displacing natural gas with biomethane and renewable hydrogen is recognised as the likely pathway to decarbonise natural gas networks.

“With a successful demonstration by Jemena, we could see biomethane use increasing across the country.”

Jemena and Sydney Water said the Malabar plant is expected to produce the first biomethane for injection into the NSW gas network by early 2022.

For more information visit the Jemena website.

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