Senex Energy has announced its intention to move forward with the expansion of its Atlas and Roma North projects in Queensland, valued at over A$1bn ($667m), following the receipt of final approval from the Australian government.

The Australian energy company has now obtained all necessary approvals for the natural gas expansion projects. These include the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) approvals.

Senex CEO Ian Davies said: “We now have the necessary investment confidence and regulatory approvals to proceed with our expansion and deliver sorely needed natural gas supply to the east coast market.

“This announcement is especially timely given the current pressures that the east coast energy system is experiencing, particularly in southern states.”

Senex Energy announced the expansion plans in August 2022. However, in December 2022, the company put the plans on hold citing the then federal government’s decision to impose a 12-month cap on energy prices.

The expansion of the Atlas and Roma North developments, situated in the Surat Basin, aims to ramp up the company’s natural gas production to 60 petajoules (PJ) per year from the end of 2025.

This increased production would fulfil over 10% of the annual east coast domestic gas demand and approximately 40% of Queensland’s domestic gas needs. It is also equivalent to the electricity consumption of more than 2.7 million homes annually.

Senex Energy expects the natural gas expansion projects to create over 900 jobs apart from injecting more than A$200m ($133m) into local businesses and communities.

Queensland Resources and Critical Minerals Minister Scott Stewart said: “Unlocking more gas and supplying it to the domestic market is critical for both households and our manufacturing industry.

“We have always said gas is an important part of our energy transition.”

Located near Wandoan, the Atlas gas project began production in October 2019. It is expected to double its production by 2025 through nearly 271 natural gas wells.

The Roma North natural gas project through nearly 400 proposed natural gas wells is also set to double its production by 2025. Located in the Maranoa region, Roma North began production in 2019.