Stuart stage two still going ahead
By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
THE initial plans for the Stuart Oil Shale stage two plant have been withdrawn, however the commercially viable plant is not yet dead and buried.
The Observer yesterday ob- tained information that owners of the plant Queensland Energy Re- sources (QERL) had asked to dis- continue their environmental im- pact study (EIS) process for stage two.
Greenpeace climate campaign- er Gareth Walton was claiming a victory yesterday, believing the move meant the demise of the plant.
'This is the culmination of six years of campaigning involving environment, tourism and fishing groups and tens of thousands of members of the public,' Mr Wal- ten said.
However QER said the with- drawal of the EIS was purely a re- focus for the company and it was still pursuing the construction of a commercial plant.
'After careful consideration- ... QERL has reached the decision that the environmental impact statement may not be suited to its longer-term plans for the develop- ment of Stuart (oil shale)...' a QERL spokesman said.
The spokesperson said the com- pany would now study a range of process technologies and identify ways in which the project invest- ment would be staged over time.
The process is expected to take 12 to 18 months after which time the company will take part in the Front End Engineering and De- sign stage.
QERL will then again seek envi- ronmental approval from the gov- ernment.
A small team continues to work at the plant site investigating stage two.