Seizing emerging opportunities | Coogee Chemicals.

In line with one of our core values, we see the search for innovative approaches to products, processes and operations as critically important to the future of Coogee Chemicals and our industry in Australia.

Gas to Liquids – the Future of Methanol

In 2000 Coogee purchased the Methanol Research Plant at Laverton in Melbourne from BHP Billiton. This manufacturing plant was built using new and innovative technology that allowed for a relatively small footprint. It was planned to scale-up the plant on a floating production and storage vessel for offshore use, taking advantage of stranded gas fields. Over the past decade we have continued to progress the technology and have made huge gains in output and efficiency.

However, with the discovery of many large scale coal seam gas and shale gas onshore reserves around the world in recent years, opportunities have changed. In China, and a number of other countries, millions of tonnes of methanol are being used to blend with petrol for transport use.  These ‘GEM’ (Gasoline, Ethanol, Methanol) blended fuels are being developed and trialed by Coogee in Australia. Australia is a net exporter of gas and a significant importer of liquid fuels. There is great potential to reduce that differential by turning gas into liquid fuel, and methanol production is one of the most effective, efficient and environmentally safe means of doing this. We are now looking at the potential to use Australia’s plentiful natural gas resources to build a world scale methanol plant using our best in class technology.

TiROTM – Titanium Powder

Since 2008, Coogee has been working in partnership with CSIRO in Melbourne to develop a two-step continuous process for the manufacture of titanium metal in powder form.  The TiROTM process produces high quality, commercially pure titanium powder on a continuous basis.  The advantage of TiROTM powder is that it can be consolidated directly without having to be remelted and without very expensive and wasteful machining steps.

The technology has now been proven at pilot scale, generating 2.5kg per hour of titanium.  The next step is to scale-up to a 200 tonnes per annum plant. This will allow further testing and development before potentially scaling further to a full commercial plant capable of producing in the order of 2,000 tonnes per annum.  The future is exciting for titanium of this quality, manufactured cost effectively, energy efficiently and with low CO2 emissions. A new potential application for TiROTM powder is in 3D printing of specialist high-end components.

Worldscale Methanol Plant

Coogee is developing a project to construct the world’s most energy and carbon efficient methanol plant. This will be done through the commercialisation of a new high value-add, world scale methanol plant which will utilise an energy efficient and low-carbon manufacturing process to provide significant reductions in emissions. The proposed new facility will be one of the largest methanol plants globally and will have a production capacity of 1.8 million tonnes per annum. The manufacturing process will be based on the scale-up of the LCM technology, a pilot version of which is currently in use at Coogee’s Laverton plant. If successful, the plant will set a new global benchmark for large scale, low carbon chemical production.

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