Newcastle LNG terminal declared critical infrastructure

Newcastle LNG
The Port of Newcastle

The New South Wales Government has declared LNG project development company EPIK’s Newcastle GasDock LNG import terminal project as Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI). This recognises the project plays an important role in the long-term economic future of the region and represents a major milestone for the project.

The Newcastle GasDock project, to be located at the Port of Newcastle – an industrial hub home to major gas and power users – is ideally suited to provide competitive gas supply to users in the Hunter Valley as well as the broader NSW region, fuelling economic growth while driving prices down for all.

EPIK founder and managing director Jee Yoon said, “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, providing access to long-term, competitive gas supply to the region, safely powering our homes, driving industry forward and keeping prices low for everyone to enjoy.”

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The Newcastle GasDock terminal will be capable of supplying more than 80 per cent of NSW’s current gas demand, with the potential to increase 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 per cent of its current gas consumption at considerable expense from other states.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said, “We welcome the NSW Government’s support for this important project, which will provide reliable and competitive energy for the Hunter as the region diversifies its economy. Port of Newcastle has been a global trade gateway for more than 220 years and is proud to be diversifying its role as Australia’s leading energy port. Newcastle has much to offer, including a deepwater shipping channel operating at 50 per cent of its capacity, significant port land available and enviable access to national infrastructure such as rail and road. It is pleasing to see EPIK poised to take advantage of the benefits of locating its critical state significant infrastructure project at Port of Newcastle.”

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CSSI designation is awarded to projects that are deemed to be essential to the State for economic, environmental and social reasons, and sets out a clear pathway to planning approvals, providing greater timeline certainty. Subject to receiving all regulatory and planning approvals, the project is anticipated to begin operations in the first half of 2021 and represents a potential direct investment of approximately $250m in NSW in addition to the value of the FSRU to be utilised by the project.