The north-west minerals province is about to start firing on Northern Territory gas with the completion of the ‘missing link’.
Commercial operations are expected to start in late December or early January, with some gas already contracted for Incitec Pivot’s Gibson Island plant in Brisbane.
This meant access to energy and feedstock to fuel jobs and business opportunities in the north west, Mines and Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said.
Dr Lynham has been in the region to mark the completion of the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline from Tennant Creek in the Territory to Mount Isa.
The 622-kilometre pipeline includes 141kms in Queensland between the Isa and the border.
The pipeline has the capacity to bring up to an additional 90 terajoules per day into the east coast gas network.
Phosphate Hill, Mount Isa Mines and Cannington were some of Queensland’s largest gas consumers and also some of the region’s biggest employers, said Acting State Development Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe.
“This is a big win for the North West, bringing a ready supply of energy and feedstock for local employers and the community,” Mr Hinchcliffe said.
“Access to a reliable supply of affordably priced gas is critical to the ongoing viability of our manufacturing industries.”
The long-term benefits will be the training Jemena has provided, which has created a legacy of more skilled people who are now better equipped to work on more regional projects, he said.
“The pipeline milestone follows a number of Queensland Government initiatives to boost domestic gas supply.
“We are making available nearly 25,000 square kilometres for gas exploration, with around a third of it exclusively for domestic users, including a parcel exclusively for manufacturing.
“But this investment is only part of the solution for the east coast gas supply and I’m calling again on southern states to join this partnership.