The New South Wales (NSW) government has granted development consent to Australian Industrial Energy’s (AIE’s) Port Kembla Gas Terminal, an A$250m ($176.27m) liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal to be built near Wollongong in NSW.

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Image: Rendering of the Port Kembla Gas Terminal. Photo: courtesy of Australian Industrial Energy.

The Port Kembla Gas Terminal, which is expected to supply up to 100 petajoules (PJs) of natural gas per year, can meet more than 70% of the state’s natural gas needs.

Its development consent was awarded following a review of its environmental impact statement (EIS).

NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean said: “The approval for the Port Kembla gas terminal is great news for more than 33,000NSW businesses and a million households that already depend on natural gas.

“This terminal could supply 70 per cent of our State’s annual gas demand and help ease the cost of energy bills for NSW families and small business owners.”

AIE, which is a consortium between Squadron Energy, Marubeni and JERA, expects the new import terminal to deliver first gas to market in late 2020.

The Port Kembla Gas Terminal will consist of four major components in the form of LNG carrier vessels, a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), wharf facilities to transfer the LNG from the carrier into the FSRU, and a pipeline to connect the FSRU to existing east coast gas transportation network.

Last August, AIE awarded a contract to Norway’s Hoegh LNG to supply the FSRU for the new LNG import terminal to be built within Port Kembla’s industrial precinct and in close proximity to already available gas transmission infrastructure.

The Port Kembla Gas Terminal is expected to support a new 800MW gas-fired power station proposed by AIE as a second phase of the project. The power plant, which is planned to be built in the Illawarra region, will be fueled by gas supplied by the LNG import terminal.

AIE, in a statement, said: “Our Port Kembla Gas Terminal presents a real opportunity for NSW to take control of its gas supply challenges by introducing significant new and competitively priced supply directly into the heart of the Illawarra industrial region.”

The consortium expects the Port Kembla Gas Terminal to generate up to 150 jobs during the construction stage and about 40-50 ongoing roles for its operation.