The $7 million North Australian Centre for Oil and Gas (NACOG), which is at the vanguard of research and training for the Northern Territory’s burgeoning oil and gas industry, has begun operations at Charles Darwin University.
Opened today (Nov 20) by the Northern Territory Chief Minister Mr Terry Mills, the cutting edge facility was built with support from the NT Government and the oil and gas industry through a INPEX, Total and other participants in the Ichthys LNG Project Joint Venture.
CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover said the opening of NACOG signalled a new phase of development for the university in which its education, training and research capabilities would be further strengthened.
“The state-of-the-art building has teaching and training facilities for both Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education, which will not only encourage more students to consider careers in the resources sector but it will also help to expand the locally based workforce,” Professor Glover said.
“The facility’s Process Plant Control Room Training Laboratory, which will be used by students in Certificates II and III in Process Plant Operations, has been set up in collaboration with Honeywell and resembles the actual control room at ConocoPhillips DLNG.”
Professor Glover said the Associate Degree in Process Engineering, which began in January this year, also provided a pathway from the VET Process Operations to the Higher Education level Chemical Engineering program.
“The Chemical Engineering program, which will start in 2013, will be the first fully accredited on-line Chemical Engineering undergraduate degree program in Australia and the third in the world.”
He said the centre also boosted the university’s research capabilities with two new laboratories that were equipped to conduct solution-oriented research and consultancy for the oil and gas industry.
“The Multiphase Flow Laboratory houses a state-of-the-art PVT cell, putting CDU at the forefront of research into CO2 mitigation during oil and gas production and power generation,” Professor Glover said.
The second laboratory will house material and testing equipment that will be used to undertake research with industry partners Incospec and Associates into prevention and control issues facing the oil and gas industry in Northern Australia.
As well as university teaching and research, the building incorporates an 80-seat seminar space.
“We look forward to making the facility available for industry, local business and community relations activities,” Professor Glover said.