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Comalco/Chervon refinery talks welcomed

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Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Warwick Parer, has welcomed the decision

by Comalco and Chevron to enter into discussions on the feasibility of a new $2.5 billion alumina

refinery at Gladstone

“Although these talks are at the preliminary stage the fact that they are taking place is in itself of

great significance and encouragement," he said. “A new alumina refinery at Gladstone represents

thousands of new jobs and certainly means a major boost to the regional, State and national

economies. *

“It provides a major part of the necessary baseload demand required by Chevron to proceed with

the $1 billion pipeline that will bring gas from Papua-New Guinea to link with the national grid at

Gladstone. “That pipeline offers a new era in industrial development in North Queensland."

Senator Parer said it was important that Governments work closely with Chevron and Comalco to

facilitate these major projects.

“As Minister for Resources and Energy I fully commit the services of my Department’s new Project

Facilitation Branch to cut through red tape and remove roadblocks. This Branch acts as a readily

identifiable contact and co-ordination point in respect of key projects nominated by the Prime Minister

and supports the role of the Prime Minister’s Major Projects Facilitator, Bob Mansfield," he said.

“The Australian Government is also sensitive to the importance of this project to our nearest

neighbour, Papua New Guinea where it means hundreds of construction and then permanent jobs.

It also offers a $3.0 billion boost to the PNG economy over the 30 year life of the project.”

Senator Parer said the decision by Comalco and Chevron to set an early deadline to ascertain if

they have achieved the necessary high level of comfort and confidence for the project to proceed

meant all parties involved, including Governments, had to commit sufficient resources to the process to avoid delays.

“On the national level this will be done through our Project Facilitation Branch which can draw on its

expertise in minerals/processing; energy projects facilitation; and co-ordination and analysis.”

FURTHER INFORMATION.............. BOB BAUDINO.................. 0419 438818

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