A milestone first gas shipment heralds thousands of jobs and a stronger Queensland economy

Image credit: BG Group website

The Methane Rita Andrea was the first tanker to be loaded at BG Group’s Queensland Curtis LNG facility at the Port of Gladstone last Tuesday, marking the beginning of the production phase for the State’s new LNG industry.

Image credit: BG Group website
Image credit: BG Group website

“This vitally important first shipment signifies the start of the production phase for Queensland’s new LNG industry. 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,” said Acting Premier Tim Nicholls.

“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.”

The second cargo of LNG from the facility will be loaded onto the Methane Mickie Harper which is expected in Gladstone during the course of this week.

“This is an immense achievement which demonstrates the company’s ability to deliver a highly complex LNG project. The start-up of QCLNG is testament to the hard work, skill and dedication of all our employees, partners and customers including the thousands of individuals who have been involved in physically building the plant. The ongoing support from both the State Government of Queensland and the local councils of our upstream region and in Gladstone has also been pivotal in this development. We thank them all,” said Andrew Gould, interim Executive Chairman of BG Group in a press release.

According to Mr Nicholls’ statement, all LNG shipments will be subject to strict regulation and will be regularly monitored as they track outside the Great Barrier 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. The LNG sector will underpin Queensland’s projected economic growth of 5.75 per cent in 2015-16,” he said.

The Port of Gladstone is set to have a production capacity of 25.3 million tonnes of LNG a year by 2017 once the three major LNG export projects are completed and fully operational.