A milestone first gas shipment heralding thousands of jobs and a stronger Queensland economy has begun loading off Gladstone.
Acting Premier Tim Nicholls visited the Port of Gladstone today as the first tanker, the Methane Rita Andrea, was being loaded at BG Group’s Queensland Curtis LNG facility.
“This vitally important first shipment signifies the start of the production phase for Queensland’s new LNG industry,” Mr Nicholls said.
“It will have huge benefits for the state’s economy; boosting export income, creating ongoing jobs and at peak capacity approximately $500 million a year in royalties for Queensland.
“Our Government has worked tirelessly to enable the LNG export industry to invest and develop its infrastructure as quickly as possible, while also meeting rigorous environmental and safety standards.
“With total investment to date of about $60 billion in gas infrastructure, the LNG industry is set to become Queensland’s second largest export industry, following coal.”
Mr Nicholls said protecting the Great Barrier Reef was the Government’s highest priority, and the new LNG shipments would be strictly regulated and monitored as they tracked outside the reef.
“In addition, vessels will travel another 110 nautical miles south of standard shipping routes to pass south of Lady Musgrave Island when entering and leaving Gladstone Harbour,” he said.
“The LNG sector will underpin Queensland’s projected economic growth of 5.75 per cent in 2015-16.”
When the three major LNG export projects are completed and fully operational, which is expected to occur by 2017, the Port of Gladstone will have a production capacity of 25.3 million tonnes of LNG a year.