01/02/2021 - 16:05

Waitsia, Lake Wells: Green light

01/02/2021 - 16:05

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The Waitsia expansion, a gas power station in the Pilbara, and a potash project near Laverton have received ministerial approval days before the government enters caretaker mode.

Waitsia, Lake Wells: Green light
Waitsia will also supply domestic gas.

The Waitsia expansion, a gas power station in the Pilbara, and a potash project near Laverton have received ministerial approval days before the government enters caretaker mode.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson published the approvals today through the Environmental Protection Authority.

The Waitsia stage 2 project will expand the existing Waitsia onshore gas operation.

It will produce 250 terajoules of gas per day and will be sold through a swap arrangement with the North West Shelf Venture.

Waitsia is owned by Mitsui and Beach Energy, with the project reportedly to cost about $770 million.

The Pilbara power station forms part of a larger plan by Fortescue Metals Group to cut carbon emissions, with solar generation also to be developed.

The total development is worth $US 700 million.

Today’s approval was for a 165 megawatt capacity gas power station, with 14 turbines.

The approval includes restrictions on carbon emissions, falling to a net zero by 2040.

Australian Potash’s Lake Wells potash project was also approved.

That comes after an Indigenous activist’s appeal against the project was overruled.

The $208 million development would produce 150,000 tonnes of sulphate of potash annually.

Conservation Council of WA Director Piers Verstegen said the approvals would allow the release of nearly 50 million tonnes of carbon pollution.

“The Waitsia project will generate nearly 40 million tonnes of residual and scope 3 carbon pollution and the FMG gas project will add nearly 10 million tonnes," Mr Verstegen claimed.

"This directly contradicts the state government's target of net zero emissions by 2050, and the EPA policy objective to 'reduce greenhouse gas emissions' through 'all reasonable and practicable' measures."

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