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Australia’s hottest day in 60 years triggers LNG plant outage

© Supplied by WoodsideWoodside chief executive Meg O'Neill
Woodside chief executive Meg O'Neill

Australia matched the country’s highest temperature on record, triggering a bushfire warning and temporarily shutting a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant on Friday.

A production train at Woodside’s North West Shelf liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Western Australia suffered a brief outage last week due to the spike in temperatures. Several bushfire alerts are in effect in Western Australia, including one at the Wheatstone LNG export plant, according to the state government’s website.

The temperature hit 50.7 degrees Celsius (123 degrees Fahrenheit) in a part of Western Australia last Thursday, matching a national record set in 1960, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Extreme weather events fuelled by climate change are happening more frequently around the world, from droughts in Brazil to a deep freeze in Texas, threatening to disrupt supply chains and trigger blackouts. Australia, which is still recovering from 2019-20’s extreme fire season, has recently been hit with severe flooding in the east after the BOM declared a La Nina event.

The cost of Australia’s extreme weather disasters including wildfires in the decade through 2019 was A$35 billion ($25 billion), more than double that in the 1970s, lobby group Climate Council said in a report last year.

Train 4 at the Woodside facility shut after the heat tripped the electrical system, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who requested anonymity to discuss private deals.

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