Jemena says it is bringing hundreds of new jobs to the Mount Isa region as it begins the Queensland leg of the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP) project.
Attending a sod-turning ceremony in Mount Isa, Jemena managing director Paul Adams said the NGP would strengthen the state’s already vibrant gas industry.
“The NGP will not only help to solve the east-coast gas crisis by bringing much-needed additional gas to market, it will also bring jobs and contracts for local people and Queensland businesses throughout its construction and commissioning phases,” Mr Adams said.
“The project is also a boon for businesses that rely on gas as either a feedstock or fuel source by providing them with access to new gas at a cheaper price, particularly when compared to the costs associated with transporting gas over long distances from the Moomba Gas Hub to Queensland.”
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the project was already generating jobs and business opportunities in the North-West – which is why the Palaszczuk Government had thrown strong support behind it.
“This pipeline project is already filling paypackets in North Queensland, with more than 200 Queenslanders employed by Jemena to date, and 26 contracts awarded to companies in Queensland, with half of these contracts in the Mount Isa region,” Dr Lynham said.
The NGP project involves construction of a 622km gas pipeline between Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory and Mount Isa in order to connect Territory gas fields to the east-coast gas market.
Jemena is investigating extending the pipeline south from Mount Isa to transport up to, or beyond, 700 TJs of gas per day.
Mr Adams said Jemena had worked closely with local communities throughout the NGP’s development, having established a number of programs to ensure locals can contribute to the project.
“Through our Project Ready Training Program, we’ve partnered with local Indigenous contractor the Myuma Group to train more than 40 people from the Mount Isa region,” he said.
“Pleasingly, a number of graduates from this program have now taken up full-time employment on construction of the Northern Gas Pipeline. We expect around 600 jobs to be filled by people from the communities surrounding the pipeline route, including the graduates from our Project Ready Training Program.”
About half of the NT section and most of the Queensland section of the NGP will be constructed this year, with the remaining pipeline to be constructed in 2018.
Jemena has contracted McConnell Dowell to construct a 481km section of the pipeline, with the remaining 141kms of pipeline being constructed by Spiecapag Australia.
Facility construction has commenced at Mount Isa Compressor Station and Phillip Creek Compressor Station. The Mount Isa compressor station earthworks are being undertaken by Ilyanyu Waru.