A Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) import terminal at Newcastle that could supply up to 80 per cent of NSW’s gas needs has today been declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure.
Acting Premier John Barilaro said the proposal for the new $589 million gas import terminal at Kooragang Island in the Port of Newcastle would include a connecting pipeline to the existing NSW gas supply network.
“The terminal could be operational by 2022-23 and provide supply for gas-fired power stations, helping to manage energy security during the period in which the Liddell power station is scheduled to close,” Mr Barilaro said.
“This LNG terminal would significantly address this risk and help secure a reliable and affordable future for NSW’s gas supply.”
The project was declared CSSI by Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes who said the terminal, if approved, would significantly increase local gas supply, promote competition between suppliers and put downward pressure on the State’s gas prices.
“NSW currently relies on interstate sources for 95 per cent of our gas supply and experts predict a shortfall in supply from existing sources in the coming years,” Mr Stokes said.
The import terminal would expand the locally available gas supply in NSW by 110 petajoules.
Despite being declared ‘critical’, the terminal will still be subject to detailed community consultation and a full and thorough environmental assessment.
The proponent, Newcastle GasDock Company (NGDC), will now need to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the project, which will go on public exhibition for community feedback.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment will then assess the merits of the project, before making a recommendation to Minister Stokes for a final decision.