Strike Energy and Leigh Creek Energy (LCK) have taken pivotal steps to solidify Australia’s domestic supply of urea as the country deflects an AdBlue shortage.
As previously reported, a government taskforce has been managing the shorter than usual supply of urea from China, as it is a key ingredient in the diesel exhaust fluid, AdBlue. AdBlue is is used by both on-road and off-road trucks and other vehicles.
A recent measure to secure the supply of urea has been the development of Strike Energy’s Haber project, a urea manufacturing facility in the Narngulu Industrial Area, near Geraldton in Western Australia.
The $3 billion facility received Major Project Status from the Federal Government, streamlining approvals, support and coordination of the project.
The facility is expected to produce 1.4 million tonnes of urea per year – powered by hydrogen and natural gas – creating about 1135 full-time jobs over its three-year construction and 300 full-time jobs once operational for a 30-year lifetime.
Federal Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the facility was important for people and the environment.
“The facility has the potential to deliver significant emissions reduction to Australia’s urea manufacturing sector through the use of advanced ammonia and gas processing technology, as well as dedicated clean hydrogen,” Taylor said.
“It also aims to reduce the reliance of Australian farmers on international supply chains to enhance our food security, given more than 90 per cent of urea is currently imported.”
The Leigh Creek urea project (LCUP) has also presented as an important supply of Australian urea.
Located 550 kilometres north of Adelaide, the LCUP will initially produce one million tonnes of urea per year, with the potential to double this in the future.
The December quarter of 2021 saw Leigh Creek Energy progress stage 2 of the front-end engineering and design (FEED), secure an offtake agreement for 500,000 tonnes per year for five years, and secure ministerial approval under the Aboriginal Heritage Act.
Leigh Creek managing director Phil Stavely said the project had ticked off a significant milestone in sustainable operations.
“At LCK, we are very proud of the forward steps we are taking in our development of ESG (environment, social and governance),” Stavely said.
“Critical is the fact that LCUP will be carbon-neutral from 2022, eight years earlier than previously planned.”