There's gas in the pipeline, but the Queensland Curtis LNG project has social ramifications for Gladstone as well.
There's gas in the pipeline, but the Queensland Curtis LNG project has social ramifications for Gladstone as well.

LNG decision due today

THE smell of gas is engulfing Gladstone today with everyone holding their breath for the federal environmental decision on two of the four LNG plants earmarked for Curtis Island.

Federal environmental minister Tony Burke is expected to announce the long awaited decision today on both Santos (GLNG) and Queensland Gas Company (QCLNG) projects with industry experts predicting the LNG refineries will be approved with conditions.

The road has been a long one for Gladstone with the hard work and investment now on the precipice of paying off the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into what some have called the energy future of the nation.

Acting Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers said Gladstone is a proud industrial region and welcomed development that is well planned, rigorously assessed and mitigates social and environmental impacts.

“People will certainly have individual views on LNG and industrial development generally, but I think it is fair to say that Council shares the majority community view that the approval of LNG for this region is important because it will provide major economic benefits and long-term prosperity for our residents,” Cr Sellers said.

“This is not to say that we should take new projects and the jobs they create at any cost. The necessary checks must be completed to ensure there's a balance that provides optimum benefit for this community.”

Santos (GLNG) and Queensland Gas Company (QCLNG) are planning to make the final investment decision on its coal seam gas projects in December, however, the announcement today secures the future of the projects with investment practically a certainty.

Both projects will extract coal seam gas from Queensland's Surat and Bowen basin and pipe it to Gladstone for export.

The QCLNG project, which will produce eight million tonnes of LNG per year, is expected to cost between $11.52 billion to $17.28 billion.

Analysts have estimated GLNG's total cost to be between $15 billion and $16 billion.

Santos has a 45 per cent stake in the joint venture project, with partners Petronas and global LNG giant Total holding a 35 per cent and 20 per cent stake respectively.

Gladstone RBS Morgans manager Darren Eising said the approvals are important for the continued economic development of Gladstone, Queensland and Australia.

“These large projects attract billions in investment and flow-on economic activity,” Mr Eising said.

“As a rule of thumb, for every dollar spent on a new project, up to four dollars of ongoing consumption (economic activity) is generated. This not only has direct benefits for Gladstone but for the country as a whole, via increased tax revenues.

“If it's delayed however, the costs will mainly be borne by those businesses or individuals that have made investments solely because of the LNG projects.”

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