A new gas pipeline to Mount Isa from the Northern Territory is a vital shot in the arm for jobs and economic development in the north west.
The Northern Territory Government announced yesterday that Jemena Northern Gas Pipeline Pty Ltd would build the 622 kilometre North East Gas Interconnector between Tennant Creek and Mount Isa.
The project, worth $800 million and set to create 900 construction jobs, will commercialise the territory’s substantial gas reserves.
Northern Territory chief minister Adam Giles said the pipeline would connect the Northern Territory gas market with the energy needs of eastern states.
“Without this pipeline, the populated parts of Australia would have huge difficulty securing their energy needs,” Mr Giles said.
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche welcomed the infrastructure announcement that would fill an important missing link in the Northern Australia gas market, connecting rich resources in the Northern Territory with east coast markets by 2018.
“This is good news for Queensland, and even better news for the north west, which will benefit from construction jobs for the project and have a domino effect that will stimulate new projects and more jobs in the region,” Mr Roche said.
“The cost and reliability of energy into the state’s north west minerals province has long been a constraint on regional growth and a barrier to new projects and local investment. Connecting gas to Mount Isa will uncork the growth genie and create a broader economic benefit for industry, and with it, new job opportunities.”
Mr Roche said the North East Gas Interconnector had the backing of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), which last year stamped it as an important project in the goal of achieving a national gas grid to improve supply security.
It is estimated that the Northern Territory has more than 200 trillion cubic feet of gas resources in six onshore basins, which is potentially enough gas to power Australia for more than 200 years.