The Queensland Government today declared the Queensland Curtis LNG Project to be significant, a move which triggers environmental impact assessment under Queensland and Australian Government legislation. The project is an alliance between Queensland Gas Company Limited of Australia (ASX:QGC)(PINK:QGSCF) and BG Group plc (LON:BG)(PINK:BRGXF) of the United Kingdom.
QGC Managing Director Richard Cottee and Managing Director of BG Group Australia David Maxwell welcomed the Government's declaration as a great step forward in establishing a major new export industry for Queensland.
The project will involve an expansion of QGC's world-class Surat Basin gas production operations near Chinchilla; the development of a new 380 kilometre pipeline to Gladstone on the Central Queensland coast; and the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility at Curtis Island, near Gladstone.
The project is being designed to initially supply 3-4 million tonnes of LNG a year for export markets, with potential expansion up to 12 million tonnes a year subject to additional gas reserves.
With estimated initial capital expenditure of A$8 billion, the Queensland Curtis LNG Project will rank as one of Australia's largest capital investments and secure Queensland's position as a leading Australian gas supplier.
A final investment decision on the project is expected in early 2010 and first LNG production from the new plant in Gladstone is scheduled for the end of 2013.
"The project will give a great boost to local economies for many years to come and underpin demand for goods and services in many communities in Queensland,'' Mr Cottee said.
"The recognition of coal seam gas as an important energy commodity will also open more opportunities for gas producers and mean greater choice for consumers."
Mr Maxwell said: "Key benefits of the project include the provision of a clean and efficient energy source, and the creation of more than 4400 jobs, including 3600 during construction and a further 820 during operation.
"More broadly, it represents a significant investment in Queensland's gas industry to unlock supply options, allowing Australia's gas market to grow." The project will investigate options for water, produced as a by-product of coal seam gas production, which might benefit drought-affected communities in southern Queensland.
Significant royalties and tax revenues will be generated for the Queensland and Australian governments over the life of the project.
Over the next 18 months, the Queensland Curtis LNG Project team will complete environmental studies over land, water, air, noise and visual impact, and study social and economic impact and safety and risk.
The environmental assessment process will involve extensive engagement with parties who have an interest in the project including landholders, community organisations, industry, conservationists, government and indigenous groups. An initial advice statement for the project has been lodged with the Queensland Government Office of the Coordinator- General and is available for public viewing via the link http://www.qclng.com.au
The declaration of 'significant project' will be gazetted in the Queensland Government Gazette, which will be available at 2pm today.
About QUEENSLAND GAS COMPANY LIMITED:
QGC is a publicly-listed gas production company that is focused on becoming an integrated energy supplier in Australia. The Company's successful exploration and appraisal activities have provided a solid foundation for future growth, with ample reserves of coal seam gas ready to meet Australia's growing demand for clean, efficient energy.
Information for Media: Mr Hedley Thomas General Manager Communications and External Relations Direct: +61 7 3020 9043 Mobile: +61 417 797 419 ASX Contact: Mr Mark Anning Company Secretary Direct: +61 7 3020 9012 Information for investors: Mr Ian Davies Chief Financial Officer Direct: +61 7 3020 9040
QUEENSLAND GAS COMPANY LIMITED
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