ARROW Energy has cleared its final regulatory hurdle, with Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt giving approval to the $17 billion LNG project.
Set to be the fourth gas plant on Curtis Island, the Arrow development is slated to deliver more than 4000 jobs in construction and operation.
In a big day for Mr Hunt, he also approved Arrow's 9.45km underwater pipeline, connecting the mainland to the island, and gave the Indian miner Adani the go-ahead for a new $3 billion coal-loading terminal at Abbot Point in central Queensland.
The Minister also ticked off a dredging campaign to shift 3 million cubic metres of sand from the Port of Abbot Point area in preparation for two other new coal-loading terminals at the port.
Arrow Energy said on Tuesday it warmly welcomed the approval - but a spokesman would not comment on final investment decision in the project, which is due by the end of the year.
And the company still needs approval for three elements of its CSG-LNG project: its Surat and Bowen gas project, and its Bowen pipeline.
Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers said she was looking forward to more information about the local project.
"This is good news for Gladstone, especially just before Christmas," Cr Sellers said.
"It is positive, and we're interested to hear more from Arrow about how they will take this forward." She said the new jobs the Arrow project would bring could help offset a "ramping down" of work on the existing three projects from mid-next year.
Decisions on both the Arrow LNG facility and Abbot Point dredging operations were due earlier this year but were delayed until this week.
Mr Hunt said "some of the strictest conditions in Australian history" had been applied to the projects.
But Greens Senator Larissa Waters said the decision meant the government had "sacrificed the climate and the Great Barrier Reef for overseas mining companies".
"The Curtis Island plant will lock in more water-destroying CSG mining and see even more ships exporting fossil fuels through the reef to exacerbate climate change," Senator Waters said.
The news comes as QGC confirmed gas would be arriving from the Surat Basin to the Curtis Island QCLNG site by the end of the year.
Last month, analysts suggested the high cost of LNG production in Australia would discourage new developments, and suggested Arrow would put gas through existing plants.
- Owned by Shell and PetroChina
- Would be fourth LNG plant on Curtis Island
- Cost $17.46 billion
- Slated for 3715 construction jobs and 600 operational roles
Do you agree with the Environment Minister approving the projects?
This poll ended on 31 January 2014.
Yes - 61%
No - 36%
Undecided - 1%
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
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