Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Australia’s next major liquefied natural gas project (LNG) on Curtis Island is a step closer to going ahead following environmental approval of Arrow Energy Ltd.’s proposed LNG plant development.
Arrow, a joint venture partnership between Royal Dutch Shell plc and PetroChina Ltd., is planning a $14 billion (AUD $15 billion) LNG plant near Gladstone in Queensland to add to its producing operations in the Surat and Bowen Basins.
The proposed development this week received environmental clearance by the Queensland Government’s coordinator-general Barry Bow, who released an evaluation report on the Environmental Impact Statement.
It would be the fourth LNG development on Curtis Island and is expected to produce up to 18 million tonnes of LNG a year through a staged development.
The project includes a sub-harbor gas pipeline tunnel from Gladstone to Port Curtis, jetties and loading facilities.
Queensland deputy premier and minister for state development, infrastructure and planning Jeff Seeney said the decision was important in the progression of the massive project.
“While Arrow still has some work to do, with financial close and coal-seam gas (CSG) supply components to be finalized, it certainly reinforces Curtis Island and Gladstone as the Pacific LNG hub,” Seeney said.
“Should Arrow proceed, it will be the fourth LNG plant on Curtis Island with a peak workforce of about 3,500 construction jobs and about 450 operational jobs for stage one, increasing to 600 on the completion of stage two.”
The environmental assessment covered the pipeline tunnel from the mainland to Curtis Island and marine logistics facilities on the Island and mainland.
To gain approval Arrow undertook a comprehensive set of marine and land studies for assessment by government agencies.
Key issues of the evaluation included management of hazardous operations, project transport, including transportation of workers to Curtis Island, impacts on coastal water quality and marine flora and fauna, the Queensland Government said.
Arrow chief executive officer Andrew Faulkner said the approval marked an important milestone in the journey towards the Arrow LNG project.
“It means we now have state-level approval for three of the five components of the overall Arrow CSG-LNG project, namely the LNG plant and our pipelines from the Surat and Bowen basins,” Faulkner said.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news for our overall project and demonstrates we’re meeting the rigorous government approvals process.”
Arrow owners, Shell and PetroChina, require financial approval from the Federal Government for the project to move to the next stage of development.