$6 billion in projects on the drawing board

By GLEN PORTEOUSglenp@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

FOUR major projects and almost $6 billion in capital will provide a great carrot for continued growth in Gladstone's economy in 2006.

Recent announcements have added four more proposals to the region's list of potential investments, coming on top of the $400 million RG Tanna Coal Terminal expansion under way.

Gladstone Economic and Industry Development Board (GEIDB) chief executive officer Dr Ken King said such potential meant Gladstone was one of the significant regions of development in Queensland.

"Specifically where light metals, chemical processing and coal value adding is concerned,'' Dr King said.

Further evidence of this development is the addition of jetties at Fisherman's Landing.

"There are three currently constructed and there is the possibility of another three,'' Dr King said.

This $161 million project will require the development of 153 hectares of land in Port Curtis.

"The impetus for coke and Comalco stage two and another jetty will help push forward the drive for more jetties,'' Dr King said.

"The long-term vision of Glad- stone's development is not some- thing that is taken lightly and we are planning 30 to 50 years in the future.''

The four main projects are: the Queensland Coke and Energy cok- ing plant, Gladstone Pacific Nickel operation, Wiggins Island Coal Ter- minal development and Fisher-man's Landing Port expansion.

A notable omission from these developments, however, is the Al- doga Aluminium Smelter and its potential $2 billion capitalisation project.

According to management, Al- doga has not fallen off the radar even though there has not been much development since basic clearing and earthworks on its pro-posed site were completed last year.

Aldoga's general manager for media and external affairs, Bob Stephens said there was still very much an interest in the project.

"Investors are looking at options as far as bauxite and alumina sup- plies are concerned and other com- mercial aspects of the project,'' Mr Stephens said.

Dr King also said he was positive about the prospect of Aldoga Smelt er getting the go ahead.

"Certainly we encourage Aldoga to go ahead with their project and we would rather it happens sooner than later,'' he said.

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