The University of Western Australia (UWA) has launched two new $20m hubs for international research and training in offshore oil and gas.
The new ARC Training Centre for LNG Futures and the ARC Research Hub for Offshore Floating Facilities are part of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) industrial transformation research programme.
UWA deputy vice-chancellor (research) professor Robyn Owens said that the new centres would add to the nature of Australia’s energy expertise.
Owens said: "The hubs will be powerful tools for connecting research and industry with the partnership providing a competitive edge for products, processes and services.
"They will be a unique training environment and will provide a highly skilled workforce with the expertise to unlock Australia’s energy resources and strengthen our contribution to the global energy engineering business."
The ARC Training Centre for LNG Futures secured funding of $9.6m from ARC and nine industry partners and will be led by UWA’s Chevron chair in gas process engineering professor Eric May.
May said the primary focus of the centre will be on cost effective LNG production in remote or deepwater locations.
May said: "The centre’s legacy will be a globally unique LNG research and training facility, designed for future integration into a micro scale LNG plant."
Over the next few years, the university will work with industry partners from Korea, China, and the US to make the plant in Western Australia, which would be used for training and research.
The ARC Research Hub for Offshore Floating Facilities will help ensure Australia will continue to play key role in future offshore energy developments globally.
The hub will receive $10m in combined funding from the ARC and industry partners including Shell, Woodside, Lloyd’s Register and Bureau Veritas. It will be led by the university’s Shell EMI Chair in Offshore Engineering professor David White.
White said that the centre will address the engineering challenges that are associated with Australia’s next-generation of offshore oil and gas projects that need new floating facilities.
Image: The hubs are part of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) industrial transformation research programme. Photo: courtesy of The University of Western Australia.