Northern Territory Government Newsroom

400 Jobs in Construction through a Cleaner, Greener Fuel Processing Plant Planned for the NT

Chief Minister Michael Gunner has welcomed the announcement by Darwin Clean Fuels to develop, construct and operate a clean fuels condensate processing plant in Darwin.

Darwin Clean Fuels is partnering with McDermott - a major US-based technology, engineering and construction company - to deliver the facility, which will be located at Middle Arm and produce up to 100,000 barrels of cleaner, greener transport fuels daily.

The initial work will involve the immediate commencement of a feasibility study and early engineering work to be completed early next year.

It’s estimated the project will cost $1.2 billion to build, and create up to 400 jobs during its construction – which is expected to commence in 2021. It will create up to 140 ongoing jobs in operation, which will start in 2023.

Once operational it will inject more than $360 million per annum to the Territory economy.

Last year Chief Minister Michael Gunner unveiled the NT Government’s 5-Point NT Gas Strategy – aimed at driving Government’s vision for the Territory as a world class hub for gas production, manufacturing and services by 2030.

In September this year the Chief Minister announced Coogee Chemicals’ plans to develop a methanol plant in Darwin and further confidence in realising Darwin’s potential as a gas based manufacturing and support hub.

During the Chief Minister’s recent trip to Reaching South in Shenzhen a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Western Australian Company Gold Valley Energy Pty Ltd and Chinese company ENN Ecological Holdings Co. Ltd for a $100 million investment in the Territory-based, Kittyhawk micro LNG Project.

This will create 100 jobs during construction and 40 ongoing once operational. 

Condensate is a cleaner fuel, a light petroleum liquid which condenses from natural gas and needs less processing to create quality transport fuel, resulting in 75 per cent lower carbon emissions than conventional refineries that use crude oil.

Darwin Clean Fuels plans to produce premium transport fuels for Australia including high octane petrol, diesel, jet fuel, LPG and marine bunker fuel to new 2027 Euro standards.

The Darwin plant will be the first significantly sized petroleum production facility built in Australia in more than 40 years and the first in Australia to use entirely condensate as its feedstock.


Quotes attributed to Chief Minister Michael Gunner:

“It took a Labor Government to deliver INPEX and it’s taken a Labor Government to deliver the next step - manufacturing. There are now three projects lined up for final investment and construction in 2021.

“The Micro LNG Project, Methanol Plant and Clean Fuels, creating around 1500 jobs in construction, along with 530 ongoing jobs - this is all in addition to the 300 ongoing solar jobs with the Suncable project. 

“The Northern Territory’s incredibly bright economic future is within reach. Private sector investment creates strong economic growth and more local jobs - especially more permanent jobs. This is how we break out of the Territory’s boom and bust cycle, and this is why the Territory Labor Government will support private enterprises wanting to do business here.

“McDermott and Darwin Clean Fuel believe in the Territory’s economy and are keen to work with government to invest in Territory jobs - adding an estimated $360 million per annum to the Darwin economy once operational.”


Quotes attributed to Darwin Clean Fuels Managing Director Tony Debenham:

“The Clean Fuels Condensate Processing Plant is a great long-term investment for Australia, contributing to the economy by creating jobs, reducing the reliance on fuel imports and making the NT self sufficient for its transport fuel needs.

“Australia currently consumes in excess of 1,000,000 barrels of transport fuels per day and imports 600,000 barrels per day to meet its transport fuel needs. With the development of LNG fields off the west coast of Australia, by 2030, Australia is forecast to produce in excess of 300,000 barrels of condensate the bulk of which is currently exported. The Darwin Clean Fuels plant will contribute to greater fuel security not only in the NT but also to Australia.

“It also creates an opportunity to maximise both the output and use of this great resource by processing condensate onshore in Australia rather than exporting it overseas and helping to address the long term fuel security issues that Australia faces.”


Media contact: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192