Western Australia wants to be home to many big hubs — not just battery metals.

While there has been a significant push for the state to establish itself as a major producer right through the battery metals chain, the state government’s latest goal is to “position Western Australia as a global LNG hub”.

The WA government now reckons partnering with the University of Western Australia to establish a “world-first microscale LNG plant”, as part of an LNG Futures Facility in Kwinana in Perth’s south, is the way to take that vision further.

Premier Mark McGowan said the government will provide $10m over 10 years and grant suitable land in the Kwinana industrial precinct to support the development of the LNG Futures Facility.

LNG companies, contractors, service providers and small to medium businesses would be able to test and refine new processes in a live plant environment.

It is expected the plant would have the capacity to produce 10 tonnes of LNG per day.

“The proposed facility would position WA as a global leader in the development and testing of new technologies and processes, with the potential to create up to 1,400 jobs,” McGowan said.

Energy majors Chevron and Shell have thrown their support behind the initiative.

Australia overtook Qatar late last year to become the largest exporter of LNG.

In 2018, Western Australia increased its LNG sales by 81 per cent, which contributed $12 billion of the overall $17.8 billion increase in total mineral and petroleum sales.

LNG sales increased by 34 per cent to 43.7 million tonnes.

McGowan said the LNG Futures Facility will “future-proof” WA’s LNG industry.

The UWA consortium will now use the state government funding commitment to help leverage federal government and other industry support for the facility.

A final investment decision is expected later this year.