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Govt encourages north west shelf gas proposed expansion



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Hon John Moore MP Minister for Industry. Science & Tourism

Hon Senator Warwick Parer Minister for Resources and Energy

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

Wednesday. 29 October 1997 326/97

GOVT ENCOURAGES NORTH WEST SHELF GAS PROPOSED EXPANSION

The Minister for Industry, John Moore, and the Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Warwick Parer, announced today that the Government will assist the expansion of the North West Shelf Gas project in Western Australia.

Mr Moore has granted the proposal Major Project Facilitation status. MFP status will provide the proposed project with co-ordinated and streamlined approval processes at both Commonwealth and State government levels.

The North West Shelf Gas project is a joint venture between Woodside Petroleum Ltd, BHP Petroleum (NWS) Pty Ltd, Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd, BP Developments Australia Ltd, Japan-Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd and Chevron Asiatic Ltd. .

The co-ordinators of the project have indicated the proposed expansion involves: • construction of a second offshore-to-onshore pipeline; • de-bottlenecking and expansion of the domestic gas plant; • construction of two liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing trains, • construction of six LNG tankers; and • installation of one or more offshore gas production facilities.

"The Government has been advised that the expansion would involve capital investment of $8.5 billion and could increase export revenue to $5 billion annually,” Mr Moore said.

"Construction of the additional facilities would commence in mid-1999 and could create up to 2,000 jobs. When fully operational, the plant could provide more than 600 long-term jobs.”

The Minister said that Australia's cost-effective production and the high demand in Japan for cleaner energy were deciding factors leading to the initiation of the project.

“Investment is crucial to industry growth and the creation of jobs,” he said. “Ensuring that Australia is an internationally competitive location for investmerlt-is the Government's top industry policy priority.”

Senator Parer said: “The North West Shelf is not only an enormous investment in its own right, but the additional volumes of competitively priced gas which will be available for the domestic market will stimulate further downstream resource processing and development in the region. Already several major resource processing investments are being planned on the basis of this additional gas,.

"The Commonwealth Government is working closely with the West Australian Government and the project joint venturers to ensure that all approval processes are properly co-ordinated.”

The project s Major Facilitation status will be co-ordinated through the Investment Promotion and Facilitation Program within the Department of Industry, Science and Tourism.

Contact: Cheryl Cartwright CMR806 Mr Moore s office Bob Baudino Senator Parer's office

02 6277 7440

Graeme Athertpm

02 6277 7580