SunGas Renewables Selected to Supply Green Methanol for New Hydrogen and E-Methanol Facility in Australia

The $1.4 billion green hydrogen and methanol project at Bell Bay is expected to produce 300,000 tonnes of green methanol per year


Houston, TX (November 10, 2023) – SunGas Renewables today announced it has been selected by Australian green hydrogen and methanol project developer, ABEL Energy, to supply green methanol for a new $1.4 billion facility in Northern Tasmania, Australia. Johnson Matthey, a leading methanol synthesis technology and catalyst supplier, was also selected to supply key technologies for the project. 

The ABEL Energy Bell Bay Powerfuels Project is expected to produce 300,000 tonnes of green methanol per year. This amount is three times Australia’s current methanol consumption and is the shipping fuel equivalent of removing 540,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually.

The project requires 240 megawatts of electrolysis to produce green hydrogen, and robust methanol synthesis and biomass gasification technologies. SunGas Renewables’ state-of-the-art renewable syngas generation unit, the SunGas System 1000,™ is specifically designed to convert sustainably sourced wood fiber into renewable syngas. It is this renewable syngas that is used to make renewable biofuels for facilities like Bell Bay.

Johnson Matthey has optimized the design of the methanol synthesis loop and combined it with its highly robust methanol synthesis catalyst. The process combines efficient technology with cutting edge catalysts and absorbents to maximize plant performance and reduce operating costs. The addition of green hydrogen increases methanol production and leads to increased carbon utilization efficiency.

SunGas Renewables worked closely with ABEL Energy and Johnson Matthey on design and optimization studies to fully integrate these leading technologies into the proposed facility. The Bell Bay Powerfuels Project is expected to commence in 2027.

“SunGas has been working closely with ABEL Energy to optimize the integration and deployment of the SunGas System 1000™ gasifier for the project,” said Robert Rigdon, CEO of SunGas Renewables. “It’s been a wonderful collaboration with ABEL’s engineering team, and we’re very excited about seeing this great project come to fruition.”

“We’re very proud and excited to have Johnson Matthey and SunGas Renewables agree to take a role in our Bell Bay Powerfuels Project, said Rhys Tucker, Chief Technology Officer at ABEL Energy. “We really do feel we have brought the very best technologies in the world to Tasmania, and we’re grateful to JM and SunGas for their enthusiastic support of our project.”

“Green Methanol is emerging as a key route to decarbonizing the shipping industry,” said Alberto Giovanzana, Managing Director – CT Licensing, Johnson Matthey. “This exciting project will use our world leading technology for green methanol production, building off our deep experience and decades-worth references in methanol. We look forward to working with ABEL Energy and SunGas Renewables on the development of this project and scaling up green methanol as an important decarbonization pathway.”

The surge in demand for green methanol follows a host of new orders by most of the world’s major container shipping companies, including Danish multinational A.P. Moller – Maersk, for new ships to be fueled by this sustainable clean-burning fuel.

In July, SunGas Renewables announced the formation of Beaver Lake Renewable Energy, LLC, a new green methanol production facility in Central Louisiana which will exclusively produce 400,000 metric tons of green methanol per year to fuel Maersk’s fleet of methanol-powered container vessels.


About SunGas Renewables
SunGas Renewables, a spin-out of GTI Energy, is taking a leading role in decarbonization through providing its System 1000 renewable syngas product to third parties for renewable hydrogen and biofuels production while also developing and investing in low-carbon biofuels businesses. The SunGas Renewables System 1000™ contains pressurized fluidized bed gasification technology, originally developed by GTI Energy, integrated with other large-scale proven commercial technologies to provide an optimized and reliable green syngas manufacturing platform for production of green methanol for marine fuel, renewable natural gas, green hydrogen and other renewable biofuels from sustainably sourced biomass and wood fiber. SunGas Renewables is headquartered in Houston, Texas.


About ABEL Energy
ABEL Energy is an Australian industrial project development company focusing on the production and use of green hydrogen primarily for the production of green methanol. The company is led by some of the most experienced synthetic fuel proponents in Australia, with expertise in chemical engineering, fuel applications and corporate development. It is a member of the Methanol Institute, Australian Hydrogen Council, CO2 Value Australia and BBAMZ Ltd.


About Johnson Matthey 
Johnson Matthey is a global leader in sustainable technologies. For over 200 years we’ve used advanced metals chemistry to tackle the world’s biggest challenges.

Many of the world’s leading energy, chemicals and automotive companies depend on our technology and expertise to decarbonise, reduce harmful emissions and improve their sustainability.

 And now, as the world faces the challenges of climate change, energy supply and resource scarcity, we’re actively providing solutions for our customers. Through inspiring science and continued innovation, we’re catalysing the net zero transition for millions of people every day.