Clean LNG on rise
The Siem Thiima is a boat — a ship really. It weighs some 5500 tonnes empty, is 90m long and 19m wide, and it is now based at Dampier.
Thiima means ship in our local Ngarluma language and it has been commissioned by Woodside and the North West Shelf Venture as a platform supply vessel.
It takes food and supplies out to the North Rankin Platforms, Goodwyn, Angel and Okha. What is also special about the Siem Thiima is that it runs primarily on liquefied natural gas.
Woodside is developing a new market — the sale of LNG for transport — and is converting all of its vessels to this new, clean fuel.
Ships, trains, trucks: most things can run on LNG, but most of them use diesel or heavier hydrocarbon fuels.
So Woodside can see both an environmental advantage and an opportunity for its business.
Die5sel and heavier fuels have significant disadvantages.
They have a high sulphur content and discharge particulates, toxic gases, CO2 and odour on combustion.
LNG burns very cleanly: there are no dirty particulates, negligible amounts of sulphur and mercury and it produces 40 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than diesel.
Let’s hope we can convert the Pilbara to the use of gas.