The Australian Federal government has given conditional environmental approval to two LNG projects in Queensland, Curtis LNG, owned by BG Group and the Gladstone LNG project, a joint venture between Petronas, Total and Santos.
However, the two projects do come with 300 environmental conditions, including protection of endangered species, the Great Barrier Reef and waterways to name but a few.
The two projects will produce 15.7 million tpy of LNG between them and are worth a combined total of US$ 30 million. It is hoped that these projects will help to turn Queensland into a major regional energy-exporting hub.
With environmental approval in hand, the last hurdle is now cleared before the companies can make final investment decisions. However, the decision has been overshadowed by the discovery this week of BTEX contamination in groundwater around 8 coal seam gas wells in Queensland, which has led to calls for a moratorium on colas seam gas drilling.
However, Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke believes that the environmental conditions imposed are stringent enough, saying, “I have imposed more than 300 strict conditions each on the Santos and Queensland Gas Company coal seam gas projects to help protect groundwater-dependent species and minimise other environmental impacts."
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