Mayor, MP: $1bn project could lead to new boom
THE sacred 'B' word was dropped twice at yesterday's Gladstone Energy and Ammonia Project announcement, with two of the region's politicians hinting the $1billion project could create another boom.
The project, which proposes to convert low-quality coal into ammonia and domestic gas, is expected to create 800-1000 construction jobs and up to 250 ongoing jobs.
The plant is set to be built in the Gladstone State Development Area, near Yarwun, with construction expected to start mid-2020.
Ammonia production is expected to follow two years later.
When asked whether the region could be on the cusp of another boom, Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett and Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher agreed it was a possibility given the plethora of land available within the Gladstone State Development Area.
"This isn't just good for Gladstone, it's good for Central Queensland," Cr Burnett said.
"It's a billion-dollar project and we're used to billion-dollar projects in Gladstone.
"It's not like we've seen with three LNG plants on the island, it's not going to be a boom and bust situation again.
"This has ongoing operational jobs, 200-plus jobs plus contractors and all the rest of it.
"These are the sort of projects the Gladstone State Development Area was put together for - to attract the major industry."
Mr Butcher echoed Cr Burnett's sentiments, describing the development area as a "magnet for projects going forward".
"We've talked about hydrogen coming into Gladstone and now we've got an ammonia plant coming," Mr Butcher said.
"Things are happening in the Gladstone electorate... This makes Gladstone an attractive destination for new and existing business and industry looking to expand and invest."
Australian Future Energy chief executive officer Kerry Parker said the company had been working on the project concept for close to two years.
"What we're doing is the first of its kind in Australia, using commercially proven clean-coal gasification technology," Mr Parker said.
"That will enable us over the 30-40 year operating life of the project to produce about 330,000 tonnes of ammonia per annum for local industry in Gladstone and about eight petajoules of gas, which roughly represents about eight per cent of the current Queensland domestic gas supply."