19 November 2015 –
Joint statement Premier and Minister for the Arts, The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk. Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural resources and Mines The Honourable Anthony Lynham –
Queensland has scored an $800 million gas pipeline project from the Northern Territory bringing jobs and critical energy supplies to the state’s north-west.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed the Northern Territory’s announcement that water and energy infrastructure company Jemena had won the tender to build the Northern Territory gas interconnector from Tennant Creek to Mount Isa.
“This is a coup for Queensland for the jobs and opportunities it will create for local suppliers, as well as the potentially cheaper energy it will supply to the north-west resources projects,” Premier Palaszczuk said.
“The project will generate 560 construction jobs across the 600km pipeline.”
In Mount Isa to bring the news to locals, State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said the project would connect NT’s abundant gas supplies to the eastern seaboard gas markets, with the new interconnector joining to the existing Mount Isa to Eromanga gas pipeline, and from Eromanga to Moomba in South Australia.
“The extra gas supply will also be a boon for industry in the north-west, including Incitec Pivot, which uses natural gas to manufacture fertiliser at Phosphate Hill 160 km from Mount Isa,” Dr Lynham said.
Dr Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government had been focussed on snaring the pipeline project for Queensland.
“I flew to Darwin for talks with the NT Government last month to push the case for the pipeline to run through Queensland, rather than South Australia,” he said.
“The Queensland route makes economic and environmental sense, particularly with the extensive established supply chain in and around Mount Isa with significant experience in the resources sector.
“My department has already been working with locals in the north-west, including MITEZ, to ensure local suppliers are ready to capitalise on any opportunities from the pipeline’s construction.”
Dr Lynham said the broader benefit of this pipeline would be the potential to place downward pressure on gas and power prices, reducing operating costs for existing companies and future industry participants.
“Export and domestic eastern seaboard gas demand is forecast to treble by 2020 and more gas supplies can only help to contain energy prices that affect investment decisions,” he said.
Mount Isa Mayor Tony McGrady said the announcement was very welcome news for the region.
“This is terrific news for our region because it means jobs,” Mr McGrady said.
“We’ve recently seen the extension of operations at Glencore and six extra permanent police were announced yesterday.
“This announcement builds on that.”
Jemena is an $8.5 billion company with significant Australian infrastructure assets, including the Queensland Gas Pipeline from Wallumbilla to Gladstone.
Construction is expected to start in 2017 with first gas transported before the end of 2018.