PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The New South Wales government has backed plans for the development of the A$250-million Port Kembla gas terminal being developed by the Australian Industrial Energy (AIE) consortium.
The proposed terminal will have the ability to supply more than 100 PJ/y of liquefied natural gas (LNG), sufficient to meet over 70% of New South Wales’ gas needs, and will generate 150 jobs during construction, as well as between 40 and 50 jobs during operations.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said on Monday that the gas terminal will not only be a major boost for the local economy in Port Kembla and surrounds, but will also help to drive down the cost of living across New South Wales.
“This terminal will make the state of New South Wales more self-sufficient when it comes to energy, and will create greater access to the global gas market.
“Cost of living is a huge burden on households across this state, and today’s announcement is another step towards easing that burden by potentially lowering household gas bills in the future,” he said.
Minister for Planning, Rob Stokes, pointed out that New South Wales currently relied on interstate sources for 95% of its gas supply and this important project will help achieve energy security into the future.
“This important project was granted Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) status last year and the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) has worked hard to progress a rigorous but timely assessment,” Stokes said.
“The project will enhance gas supply capacity, relieving gas price pressure for families and businesses across the state.”
The AIE joint venture partners, which include Andrew Forrest’s Squadron Energy; global energy infrastructure investor Marubeni Corporation and the world's largest LNG buyer JERA, have welcomed the approval.
AIE will use specialised ships as a ‘virtual pipeline’ to transport LNG from a range of sources including domestic Western Australian and global suppliers. Shipping gas this way significantly reduces the transport component of final prices to gas consumers, enabling AIE to deliver a competitive product, the consortium said.
This built-in supply cost advantage, along with the AIE consortium’s global purchasing power through JERA, will help AIE’s Port Kembla gas terminal revolutionise the Australian east coast energy landscape.
The New South Wales government’s development consent for the Port Kembla project comes just a few weeks after the commonwealth government announced AIE’s associated proposal to construct an 800 MW gas-fired electricity power station in the Illawarra had been shortlisted as one of 12 possible projects being considered for the Underwriting New Generation Investments programme.
AIE’s proposed combined cycle gas turbine power station would be fuelled by natural gas from the Port Kembla gas terminal, meaning the terminal would not only deliver a major new source of gas for New South Wales, but potentially play a significant role in generating lower-cost firming electricity for the state.