Government backs Newcastle LNG project

The New South Wales Government has labelled an in-development LNG import terminal as Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI).

Now known as the Newcastle GasDock Project, being developed by Korea-based EPIK, the $589 million LNG import terminal will be located at Kooragang Island in the Port of Newcastle and connect via pipeline to the existing NSW gas supply network.

Acting Premier John Barilaro said the project could be operational by 2022–23 and could help manage energy security as the Liddell power station is closed down.

“This LNG terminal would significantly address this risk and help secure a reliable and affordable future for NSW’s gas supply,” he said.

The government said GasDock would increase locally available gas supply in NSW by 110 PJ, while an environmental impact statement for the project would now be prepared by its proponent.

EPIK Founder and Managing Director Jee Yoon said the company was focused on delivering the most competitive solution for gas imports in the state.

“With CSSI status in hand, we are a considerable step closer to delivering the critical infrastructure needed to bring new energy to NSW, providing access to long-term, competitive gas supply to the region, safely powering our homes, driving industry forward and keeping prices low for everyone to enjoy,” he said.

The Port of Newcastle welcomed the government’s endorsement, with Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody calling the terminal a “future-proofing project for the region”.

“Projects such as the EPIK Newcastle GasDock project open a number of new trade opportunities, develop capability and support businesses and jobs across the Hunter Region and around NSW,” he said.

The terminal will face competition from Australian Industrial Energy’s (AIE) Port Kembla Gas Terminal (PKGT), which is the furthest along in development of a number of LNG import terminals along Australia’s east coast.

AIE is aiming to complete construction of its $250 million PKGT by late 2020 and earlier this year announced it had signed a supply deal with EnergyAustralia worth more than $500 million.

Another LNG import project, AGL Energy’s Crib Point development in Victoria, has continually faced delays due to lack of support from government, environmental groups and local communities.

AGL recently pushed its expected date for first gas out by another 12 months to the second half of the 2022 financial year.

For more information visit the EPIK website.

If you have project news you would like featured in Gas Today contact Managing Editor David Convery at dconvery@gs-press.com.au

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