06/09/2021 - 15:10

EPA gives $4.3bn Perdaman project the nod

06/09/2021 - 15:10

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The state’s peak environmental body has thrown its support behind Perth-based Perdaman Industries’ $4.3 billion Burrup urea project, recommending the proposal be approved.

EPA gives $4.3bn Perdaman project the nod
Perdaman chair Vikas Rambal. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The state’s peak environmental body has thrown its support behind Perth-based Perdaman Industries’ $4.3 billion Burrup urea project, recommending the proposal be approved.

Perdaman had proposed to construct and operate Australia’s largest fertiliser manufacturing plant north-west of Karratha, which would convert gas into urea to facilitate the production of 2.3 million tonnes of urea annually over a 20-year period.

The company had indicated that it hoped to begin construction on the plant, which would be situated in the Burrup Strategic Industrial Area, in the first quarter of 2022.

In a report to Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson released today, EPA chair professor Matthew Tonts recommended the proposal be approved subject to conditions concerning air quality requirements.

Professor Tonts said the conditions applied would ensure the protection of the Murujuga peninsula’s environmental values, including rock art or petroglyphs recognised as being of state, national and international significance.

“The proponent will need to demonstrate that the project has no adverse impact that accelerates the weathering of the rock art,” he said. 

“We believe there is sufficient time before Perdaman operations begin for monitoring associated with the Murujuga Rock Art Strategy to be undertaken to develop detailed air quality standards that ensure this level of protection.”

The report will now open for a two-week public appeal period.

The project has also received the endorsement of the state government, which agreed to cover some of the associated infrastructure costs just over a year ago.

The recommendation comes just weeks after oil and gas giant Woodside Petroleum received approval to develop its $16 billion Scarborough LNG project.

Perdaman had been awaiting the approval of Woodside’s proposal, having signed a 20-year agreement for the supply of gas to the plant back in 2018.

The proposal is expected to create 2,500 jobs during construction and 300 permanent jobs when operational.

Perdaman has already signed a joint venture agreement with Clough and Saipem to lead the engineering, procurement and construction.

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