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First LNG shipment in record export deal.

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Mark Vaile

Media Release

Parliament House Phone: +61 2 6277 7420

Canberra ACT 2600

Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Trade Leader of The Nationals

Wednesday 17 May 2006 MVT30/2006


The Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile, welcomed the loading of the first LNG shipment today from the North West Shelf to Guangdong in China, as part of the biggest export deal in Australia’s history.

Speaking from Karratha in Western Australia, Mr Vaile said ‘‘At 3.3 million tonnes per annum, the Guangdong contract is Australia’s biggest ever single export deal, earning up to $25 billion over the next 25 years. It entrenches Australia’s standing as one of the world’s top LNG suppliers”.

“Our LNG companies have won a reputation for reliability and quality second to none. The Guangdong contract reinforces that reputation.

“This shipment is a milestone in Australia’s economic relationship with China. Australia has been supplying China with a wide range of minerals for several decades. And now we are moving into a new chapter of energy cooperation”, Mr Vaile said.

“Over the coming years, Australian gas will be supplying households, power plants and businesses in Guangdong, one of Australia’s most important economic partners.

“LNG shipments to Guangdong will extend our already booming resources trade with China. Last year, resources drove a 46 per cent increase in our exports to China to $16 billion. Strong Chinese demand has pushed up global resources prices, helping to give Australia its most favourable terms of trade for decades.

“This LNG shipment is also part of a bigger story in Australia’s growing energy cooperation with China. We are now supplying China with increasing amounts of coal, collaborating on clean coal technology and coal mine safety.

“With the signature of nuclear safeguards and cooperation agreements during Premier Wen’s visit, we hope to export uranium to China over the coming years and we are also working together on renewables such as wind and solar energy. Australia is helping China to meet its economic and environmental needs by providing reliable, cleaner energy.

“Australian LNG exports will expand significantly over the coming years. With several new projects such as Gorgon and Pluto close to starting up, Australia could be producing 55 million tonnes of LNG per annum by the middle of the next decade”, Mr Vaile said.

Contact: Richard Forbes 02 6277 7420 or 0418 273 475