Gas pipeline reaches next phase
By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
A GROUP is being formed to commence the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) phase of the PNG Gas Pipeline project.
The group will be made up of the pipeline proponents who will study the design and engineering logistics of the $5 billion project.
The pipeline will transport natural gas from Papua New Guinea to be used in Queensland.
At present two local industries, the Comalco Alumina Refinery (CAR) and Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) have signed conditional gas sales agreements.
Spokesperson for ExxonMobil, one of the project proponents, Alan Bailey, said the recruitment of other customers for the project would continue during the FEED stage.
Mr Bailey wouldn't clarify whether there were enough customers signed onto the project to secure its construction. "What we've concluded is that there is enough interest out there to proceed with the FEED stage,'' Mr Bailey said.
Mr Bailey said other local industries had shown interest in the project.
In the past Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has said the project would potentially bring further industry to the region if it eventuated, but still had a long way to go.
The FEED stage is expected to cost about $145 million and take 12 to 18 months.
The PNG gas pipeline has been planned for more than seven years involving a number of different participants.