McDermott Signs Darwin Condensate Project

Refinery Capacity in Northern Territory

Engineering and construction specialist McDermott International has signed an agreement with Darwin Clean Fuels for the development of a condensate refinery in northern Australia.

The memorandum of understanding covers a feasibility study, technology, front-end engineering design (FEED) and engineering procurement and construction for a new condensate processing plant in Darwin, in the Northern Territory, Australia.

"The refinery would leverage our proprietary technologies, including alkylation and sulphur recovery, and is evidence of McDermott's technology-led EPC capabilities. Our engineering feasibility studies often serve as the essential underpinning of client decisions about moving forward with major investments,” said Ian Prescott, senior vice president of Asia Pacific.

First Phase Planned 2020

The project is awaiting a final investment decision from Darwin Clean Fuels, and if approved is expected to commence early phase engineering work in early in 2020.

"Darwin Clean Fuels looks forward to the next phase of the project with McDermott to move it toward a final investment decision. The clean fuels condensate refinery is a great, long-term investment in Australia, creating jobs and contributing to the economy by reducing the reliance on fuel imports,” said Tony Debenham, Darwin Clean Fuels managing director.

"It also creates an opportunity to maximize both the output and use of this great resource by refining condensate onshore in Australia rather than exporting it overseas for processing it into petrochemicals or refinery blendstock, helping to address the long-term fuel security issues that Australia faces," he said.

Reduced Carbon Footprint

Forecasts for Australian condensate exports are rising with an estimated 260,000 barrels per day predicted for 2020, growing to 305,000 bpd by 2030.

“Darwin Clean Fuels plans to design, build and operate the condensate plant which has 75 percent lower CO² emissions than crude oil refineries,” a spokesperson for the firm said.

Headquartered in Texas, McDermott is one of the largest integrated onshore-offshore EPC companies in the world, with operations in more than 54 countries and a workforce of about 32,000 employees.