Queensland APLNG project gets environmental approval

22nd February 2011 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH (miningweekly.com) − The A$35-billion Australia Pacific natural gas (APLNG) project – a joint venture between Origin Energy and ConocoPhillips – on Tuesday received environmental approval, Queensland treasurer and State Development Minister Andrew Fraser said.

The project involves the development of APLNG’s coal-seam gas (CSG) resources in the Surat and Bowen basins, including a 450-km transmission pipeline, and the construction of a multitrain liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on Curtis Island, near Gladstone.

The APLNG project received Commonwealth approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act with conditions attached.

The Commonwealth approval of the project follows approval by the Queensland Coordinator-General in November 2010, which also imposed a comprehensive set of environmental and social conditions on the project before it can proceed.

Fraser said the conditions the Commonwealth imposed on the project largely mirror those of the state.

"Our priority is striking the right balance between social and environmental sustainability and economic growth. The next step includes applications for specific environmental authorities and various other planning and development approvals at state and local government level."

Fraser said the project was expected to create up to 5 000 construction jobs and 1 000 operational jobs, which would then be amplified through the economy with flow-on growth and jobs.

Meanwhile, the Minister noted that with the latest approval, three CSG-LNG project proposals in Queensland worth a combined A$66-billion had now cleared state and Commonwealth approval processes- capable of creating up to 18 000 jobs.

Besides the APLNG project, the Gladstone LNG project, worth A$16-billion, was also approved.

Gladstone LNG would create up to 6 000 jobs, backed by Santos, PETRONAS, Total and KOGAS.

The third project was the A$15-billion Queensland Curtis LNG project, which would provide up to 6 000 jobs.