A consortium of Australian and Japanese companies set up for shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Australia said it selected Port Krembla as the site for an import terminal that aims to deliver first gas by 2020.
To be located in North South Wales - the southeast coast, the terminal would have the ability to supply in excess of 100 PJ per annum, sufficient to meet over 70 per cent of NSW's total gas needs, the Australian Industrial Energy (AIE) consortium said Monday in a statement.
The consortium comprises Andrew Forrest's Squadron Energy, global energy infrastructure investor Marubeni Corporation and JERA Co. Inc. the world's largest buyer of LNG.
Construction of the terminal is likely to require a capital investment of between AUS$200m and $300m, generate around 150 jobs during the construction phase and 40-50 ongoing roles. Importantly, the increased certainty of affordable gas supply to NSW would help maintain the financial viability and prosperity of industries employing more than 15,000 people across the Illawarra region and an estimated further 300,000 manufacturing jobs throughout NSW that are reliant on available and affordable natural gas, AIE said.
AIE has to date entered into 12 Memorandums of Understanding (MoU's) for the supply of gas, which will help it to move to the detailed engineering phase of the project.
AIE chief executive officer, James Baulderstone, said "NSW is facing significant challenges in ensuring available and affordable gas supplies and we are working to make this project a reality as quickly as possible.
“In recent times wholesale gas prices have doubled, and in many cases tripled in NSW. In addition, many industrial companies are now unable to secure gas for any period longer than 12 months.
Gaku Takagi, Senior Vice President, Fuel Business Development and Gas & Power Development
Team Leader, JERA Co said: “As the largest buyer of LNG in the world, JERA is able to bring ample, competitively priced LNG to NSW.”
New South Wales has for decades relied on other Australian States for virtually all of the natural gas required to power its industries; support electricity generation; and supply household heating and cooking needs. Rising energy prices; a lack of supply competition; and ongoing uncertainty around sufficient gas availability are consistent concerns for the gas-reliant 500 heavy industrial users and
33,000 small businesses employing over 300,000 workers.
The Port Kembla Gas Terminal is a comparatively low-cost and speedy alternative to the construction of far more expensive new inter-state or cross-country pipelines to transport gas to
NSW and the wider eastern seaboard. As a gateway to global sources of natural gas, the Port
Kembla Gas Terminal could underpin the vast majority of the State's entire natural gas needs by early 2020, subject to approvals processes.
Baulderstone said: “AIE looks forward to working with all relevant stakeholders, including the
Port Kembla community, regional businesses, the NSW Government and existing infrastructure owners to enable the Port Kembla Gas Terminal to deliver its first supply of gas in early 2020.”
With the port selection process now finalised, AIE is targeting the lodgement of relevant planning and development applications within the next few months.