26/08/2009 - 09:05

Garrett green-lights Gorgon

26/08/2009 - 09:05

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Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has cleared the last regulatory hurdle for the $50 billion Gorgon LNG project, leaving its joint venture owners free to make their final investment decision.

Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has cleared the last regulatory hurdle for the $50 billion Gorgon LNG project, leaving its joint venture owners free to make their final investment decision.

The yet-to-be developed project off the West Australian coast - expected to create 6,000 jobs at its peak - will underpin a major expansion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) production in Australia.

"I've considered it very carefully, I don't believe that there will be unacceptable impacts and, as a consequence of that, I have made my decision today," Mr Garrett told reporters in Canberra.

The Greens have slammed the news from Mr Garrett, saying he is signing off on the destruction of this unique environment.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, who is in Broome today, said there is no way that the environment of Barrow Island can be protected from this development.

"No environmental conditions can protect the environment of this Island, and it is a nonsense for Minister Garrett to hide behind such conditions," said Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

"It is inevitable that the island will be degraded."

Premier Colin Barnett has welcomed the decision allowing the expansion of LNG off WA's Pilbara coast and potentially create up to 6,000 jobs in the area.

Mr Barnett told a radio audience he was pleased the federal and state governments had agreed to the project and assured the toughest environmental review.

"I don't think any project in Western Australia has had the degree of scrutiny of the Gorgon project," Mr Barnett said.

"Will it destroy the Kimberley? No it won't.

"It is a remote area, it is not the spectacular coastline that most associate with the Kimberley ... and this is the only way that I can see there being a realistic, economic future for Aboriginal people in the area."

Chevron Australia, one of the Gorgon partners and operator of the project welcomed the timely approval.

Chevron Australia managing director, Roy Krzywosinski said he appreciated the government support on the road to final investment decision.

"The Gorgon Project has been deliberately sited to avoid areas of particular conservation significance and the three-train Gorgon Project will have minimal additional environmental impact when compared to the already-approved two-train Project," he said in a statement.

"The Gorgon Project is globally and nationally significant with a resource base of more than 40 trillion cubic feet of gas and an estimated economic life of at least 40 years from the time of start-up.

"Furthermore, the Gorgon Project is Australia's largest single resource project and is set to deliver significant economic benefits and create around 10,000 indirect and direct jobs during peak construction."

The project's scope includes three, five million tonne per annum LNG trains; one of the world's largest carbon dioxide injection projects; and a domestic gas plant.

The Gorgon Project is operated by the Australian subsidiary of Chevron (50 per cent) in joint venture with Australian subsidiaries of ExxonMobil (25 per cent) and Shell (25 per cent).



 

 

 

 

 

Full announcement from Greens Senator Rachel Siewert below:



Garrett decision on Gorgon means destruction for environment

The Australian Greens today slammed the decision by the Minister for Environment Peter Garrett to allow the Gorgon development to go ahead on Barrow Island, saying he is signing off on the destruction of this unique environment.

"There is no way that the environment of Barrow Island can be protected from this development - no environmental conditions can protect the environment of this Island, and it is a nonsense for Minister Garrett to hide behind such conditions. It is inevitable that the island will be degraded," said Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

"Just today we've heard that Chevron's own environmental consultant gave them advice to locate the processing plant on shore, as the environmental impact to Barrow Island is too great."

"Barrow Island is an A- Class Nature Reserve. It has been dubbed 'Australia's Ark' for its unique range of endangered species, with 24 species and sub-species preserved on the island, many of which are extinct or endangered on mainland Australia."

"This proposal will have unacceptable environmental impacts on the terrestrial and the marine environment. It simply should not be going ahead on Barrow Island," Senator Siewert said.

"The Federal Government is once again putting resource development ahead of environmental protection. I must admit I didn't really expect the Minister for the Environment to make any other decision but to give this project the tick as he was clearly given his riding instructions when the Prime Minister announced it last week, however it is still hugely disappointing that the Minister has failed to do his job and protect this Island."

"We call on the Federal Government to require that the Gorgon development is located on the mainland," concluded Senator Siewert.

 

Full announcement from Chevron below:

 

Chevron Welcomes Australian Commonwealth Government Environmental Approval for the Gorgon Project

PERTH, Western Australia, 26 August 09 - Chevron Australia Pty Ltd today welcomed the timely approval of the Chevron-operated Gorgon Project's revised and expanded scope by the Federal Environment Minister, the Hon. Peter Garrett AM MP.

Chevron Australia Managing Director, Roy Krzywosinski, noted the importance of the Federal Government's announcement: "We appreciate the support shown by the Federal and State Governments as we move the Gorgon Project towards a final investment decision.

"The Gorgon Project has been deliberately sited to avoid areas of particular conservation significance and the three-train Gorgon Project will have minimal additional environmental impact when compared to the already-approved two-train Project."

Krzywosinski added, "The Gorgon Project is globally and nationally significant with a resource base of more than 40 trillion cubic feet of gas and an estimated economic life of at least 40 years from the time of start-up.

"Furthermore, the Gorgon Project is Australia's largest single resource project and is set to deliver significant economic benefits and create around 10,000 indirect and direct jobs during peak construction," said Krzywosinski.

The Gorgon Project is operated by the Australian subsidiary of Chevron (50%) in joint venture with Australian subsidiaries of ExxonMobil (25%) and Shell (25%).

The project's scope includes three, five million tonne per annum LNG trains; one of the world's largest carbon dioxide injection projects; and a domestic gas plant.

Chevron is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies and through its Australian subsidiaries, has been present in Australia for more than 50 years. With the ingenuity and commitment of more than 1,400 people, Chevron Australia leads the development of the Gorgon and Wheatstone natural gas projects; manages its equal one-sixth interest in the North West Shelf Venture; and operates Australia's largest onshore oilfield on Barrow Island and the Thevenard Island oilfields. The company is also a participant in the Browse liquefied natural gas development and is a significant investor in exploration offshore northwest Australia, one of Chevron's four global focus areas for exploration.

 

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