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Malabar Biomethane Injection Plant

Australia’s first biomethane-to-gas--network project demonstrates how homes and businesses can use renewable gas, sourced from biowaste and blended with natural gas, for cooking, heating and hot water.

Jemena and Sydney Water are working together to produce biomethane at the Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant in south-east Sydney. The high-quality biomethane gas meets the Australian Standard (AS4564:2020) for injection into Jemena’s NSW natural gas distribution network – the largest in Australia with over 1.5 million customers.

The multi-million dollar project is jointly funded by Jemena and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) who will provide up to $5.9 million in grant funding. The Malabar facility already creates biogas in its anaerobic digester, with the new biomethane upgrader fully operational since early 2023.

Initially, the Malabar facility will produce biomethane (by volume) equivalent to the gas usage of approx. 6,300 homes per year with the potential to scale up to around 200TJs each year – equivalent to the natural gas usage of approx. 13,300 NSW homes per year, if put to use in the residential network.

Biomethane is indistinguishable from regular natural gas and can be injected into the existing natural gas network and used in the same way, without any need to change appliances or network infrastructure. Using biomethane can help to avoid or displace fossil-fuel gas that would otherwise be needed to supply NSW gas customers. Biomethane is a real game changer for many businesses and heavy industry, particularly in hard to abate sectors, as it provides a viable means to rapidly reduce emissions and help decarbonise operations.

The Malabar Biomethane Injection Plant is certified by GreenPower - the government managed renewable energy certification program. GreenPower Renewable Gas Certification means renewable gas certificates will be issued for gas produced at the Plant certifying that the gas is low-emission renewable gas.

GreenPower certification follows news from 2023 that Origin Energy has signed an agreement for biomethane supply until the end of 2024, which could see Origin buy up to 110TJs of biomethane per year from the Malabar Plant.

The Malabar project demonstrates the potential of a waste-to-energy industry which can lower carbon emissions while creating jobs and many other circular economy benefits.