Declared “critical state significant infrastructure,” the Newcastle GasDock LNG import terminal project has won the backing of local government in New South Wales for its importance to the region’s economic and environmental health
South Korean LNG project developer EPIK Co Ltd said the announcement recognised Newcastle GasDock LNG for its role in the long-term economic future of the region and was a major milestone for the Australian LNG project.
“We are thrilled by the NSW Government’s decision to award CSSI status to the Newcastle GasDock LNG project,” said EPIK founder and managing director Jee Yoon. “EPIK’s primary objective is to deliver the most competitive infrastructure solution for natural gas imports into NSW. With CSSI status in hand, we are a considerable step closer to delivering the critical infrastructure needed to bring new energy to NSW.”
Located in the Port of Newcastle, the Newcastle GasDock project will incorporate a 170,000-m3 floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), a dockside jetty, and a pipeline lateral connecting the FSRU terminal to an interconnection point on Jemena’s Sydney to Newcastle pipeline, providing direct access into the Sydney Short Term Trading Market.
The Newcastle GasDock terminal will be capable of supplying more than 80% of NSW’s current gas demand, with the potential to increase throughput as demand requires. Existing domestic gas supply and pipeline constraints compound the need for the Newcastle GasDock terminal in NSW, which currently imports approximately 95% of its current gas at considerable expense from other states.
Subject to receiving all regulatory and planning approvals, the project is expected to begin operations in H1 2021 and represents an investment of approximately A$250M (US$170M) in NSW in addition to the value of the FSRU.
Natural gas remains a crucial base-load provider of electricity in the energy mix; especially as NSW transitions away from coal to a lower-carbon economy.
“We look forward to continuing discussions with major gas and power users throughout the state as they seek long-term, competitive solutions to their gas supply and power needs,” said EPIK executive director James Markham-Hill.
In July, EPIK announced it had engaged energy consulting experts Wood Mackenzie to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the southeast Australian gas market in parallel with EPIK’s commercial efforts seeking terminal capacity subscribers.