The Northern Territory Chief Minister, Mr Adam Giles, has announced that the construction of a gas pipeline connecting the Northern Territory with the East Coast is now almost certain to go ahead with four top quality proposals shortlisted for the project.
“The North East Gas Interconnector is a critical piece of economic development infrastructure and a priority Major Project for the Territory Government. The pipeline will generate investment in regional infrastructure which means real jobs in the bush and roads that open up our remote areas, not only for the pipeline, but for other economic activity as well,” Mr Giles said.
“The quality of the submissions through the Government’s competitive process for the pipeline’s construction has been so high that we now feel it is inevitable that this vital pipeline will be built. The submissions give us confidence that this project is seen by the private sector as being commercially viable and that the focus of government support will be around facilitating approval processes. Put plainly, the numbers seem to be stacking up.”
He said a panel of experts has spent a month assessing the proposals and has nominated the APA Group, DDG Operations (DUET), Merlin Energy Australia and SGSP (Australia) Assets (Jemena) to go through to the final stage of the process.
“Our shortlist reflects the quality and innovation in the proposals we have received. The first tranches of gas for this pipeline are expected to come from existing offshore and onshore fields giving us the time to get the regulatory environment right for an expanded industry into the future. With this pipeline we can make it possible for industry to unlock the Territory’s vast offshore and onshore gas reserves today, while supporting the jobs and development of tomorrow,” Mr Giles said.
“The current local industry can’t support gas exploration and development on its own without the market confidence this pipeline provides. This pipeline will connect them with the volume of customers they need to fund the scale of exploration the Territory needs to fuel new industries into the future. Through this pipeline, the Government is setting up a long term framework that grows gas supply, creates a more competitive energy market and provides access to plentiful, cheaper gas for use by local industry and domestic energy production.”
Estimates have shown that the Northern Territory has more than 200 trillion cubic feet of gas resources in six onshore basins, which is potentially enough gas to power Australia for more than 200 years. It is also estimated that there is more than 30 trillion cubic feet of gas offshore.