Queensland natural gas is fuelling Queensland energy and Queensland manufacturing jobs in a national first.
Senex Energy’s Project Atlas has delivered its first gas to its first customer, state-owned power generator CleanCo, and will follow within weeks to building products maker CSR, which has three south-east Queensland manufacturing plants.
Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the energy and resources milestone was underpinning manufacturing jobs and businesses and the state’s reliable, lower-cost electricity supply.
“This is a gold medal result from the Palaszczuk Government’s ground-breaking move to release land two years ago exclusively for gas for the domestic market,” Dr Lynham said.
“Atlas and its connecting pipeline have created hundreds of construction jobs in regional Queensland and will now support hundreds of manufacturing jobs in Queensland.
“I congratulate Senex Energy and their pipeline partner Jemena, who have delivered gas to customers ahead of schedule.
“This shows what innovative Government policy and a motivated Queensland resources sector can achieve together.”
From today, natural gas from Atlas, near Wandoan in Queensland’s south-west, is supplying gas to CleanCo’s Swanbank E gas-fired power station near Ipswich.
From 1 January 2020 the operation will supply CSR, which makes PGH™ bricks, Gyprock™ plasterboard and Bradford™ insulation at its southside Brisbane plants. Together, the plants at Brendale, Coopers Plains and Oxley employ 260 people.
Atlas will also supply the packaging company Orora and glass manufacturer O-I, which make many of the beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverage bottles Queenslanders use every day.
The petroleum lease for the Atlas acreage was granted to Senex in March 2018 part of a Queensland Government policy to increase the supply of natural gas to the domestic market. Senex announced first gas production from the Project Atlas field in October 2019 – only 18 months later.
Senex Managing Director and Chief Executive Ian Davies said the company had delivered, ahead of schedule, on its promise to the Queensland Government to supply important natural gas to the domestic market.
“Atlas is now generating royalties for roads, schools and hospitals thanks to Queensland’s innovative domestic gas policy,” he said.
“We thank our partners for playing their roles in this achievement, including landholders, the community, our customers, suppliers, employees and our infrastructure partner Jemena.
“Senex will continue to support jobs and regional economies, with more than $400 million being invested in Queensland to bring natural gas to market.”
Project Atlas comprises an initial 60 gas wells, pipelines and a processing facility to compress the gas for pipeline delivery to customers. Leading energy infrastructure company Jemena built, owns and operates the $140 million processing facility and pipeline.
The wells are on 58 square kilometres of land the Queensland Government granted for domestic-only gas production in March 2018.
Since 2015 the Palaszczuk Government has released more than 70,000 km2 of land for gas exploration, over a quarter of it guaranteeing the gas will be for Australian consumers.
Currently Armour Energy, Central Petroleum, Chi Oil and Gas, a Santos/Shell joint venture, APLNG, Comet Ridge and Denison Gas are on the hunt for more gas for the Australian market.