No 8. February 2013

Seawater Pipeline for Algae Industry

A $10 million seawater pipeline announced by the WA Government will initially support Aurora Algae and its development of an algae to biodiesel industry at Karratha.

US-based Aurora Algae is investing $86 million towards a Stage 1 production facility at Karratha.

The company's pilot facility has proved the technology to produce biodiesel, Omega-3 used in health supplements, nutraceuticals for the pharmaceutical industry, and protein-rich biomass for aquaculture and animal feed.

The WA Government says abundant sunshine and close proximity to sea water - the two key ingredients for the efficient production of algae - and the ready supply of carbon dioxide that is a by-product of the resources sector, make the Pilbara ideal for an algae industry.

A Worley Parsons report last year on the development of an algae industry in the Pilbara said a key input is the supply of sea water. A commercial scale algae industry needs seawater pipelines for both intake and outfall. The outfall is slightly more saline and at a higher temperature after processing and so needs to be pumped out a sufficient distance to meet environmental regulations, particularly as there are marine parks along the Pilbara coastline.

Aurora's demonstration facility sources carbon dioxide from the Yara Pilbara Fertilisers (formerly Burrup Fertilisers) Ammonia Plant on the Burrup Peninsula, one of the largest ammonia production facilities in the world.

Aurora's production facility will create new exports for the region, reduce the CO2 emissions by the resource industry and support the local provision of diesel.

Aurora Algae's possible location at Karratha.

WA premier and State Development minister Colin Barnett said the $10 million in Royalties for Regions funding to construct a Common User Seawater Pipeline will support the expansion of the algae industry and create other project opportunities.

"This common user infrastructure will deliver benefits beyond encouraging the investment of Aurora Algae, with the seawater resource capable of supporting further investment by other industrial users," he said.

A study on an expanded algae industry in the Pilbara is at:





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