The first liquefied natural gas import terminal in New South Wales, Australia, is to be built at Port Kembla by the consortium Australian Industrial Energy (AIE).
The consortium has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NSW Ports which could lead to the terminal coming into service in early 2020, subject to the approvals processes. AIE said the terminal could cost between A$200mn and A$300mn and would meet more than 70 per cent of New South Wales’ total gas needs.
To be known as the Port Kembla Gas Terminal, it is said by AIE to be a comparatively low-cost and speedy alternative to the construction of new inter-state or cross-country pipelines to transport gas to the state and the wider eastern seaboard.
AIE said: “Port Kembla was chosen after a comprehensive evaluation process looking at port operations, berth configuration options, proximity to the existing east coast gas transmission network and support from the local business community.”
The signing of this Mou will allow AIE to begin the engineering and design phase of the project. The consortium comprises Squadron Energy, the Marubeni Corporation and the Japanese coal trader JERA.
Within days of the announcement of the new terminal, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) said the Port Kembla Port Unions Committee was seeking a jobs guarantee in construction, shipping, surface transport and operations at the terminal.
The MUA claimed: “With the new facility expected to receive LNG tankers every two to three weeks, there are concerns that all of the gas will be sourced from overseas rather than locally, meaning fewer local jobs in the long term.”