Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General has declared Australian Future Energy Pty Ltd’s (AFE) proposed $1 billion Gladstone Energy and Ammonia Project a coordinated project. This billion dollar project is going to be located in the Gladstone State Development Area (SDA) and it is expected to generate up to 1,000 jobs for the region.
“If approved, this project will make a significant contribution to the regional economy requiring a peak workforce of 800 jobs during the two-year construction period and up to 200 full-time equivalent jobs for the 30-year operational period,” Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said.
The proposed project - set to be an Australian-first - is aimed at converting 1.5Mtpa of coal to produce approximately 330,000 tonnes of ammonia annually as well as six to eight petajoules of synthetic natural gas a year and up to 96 megawatts of electrical power which will be generated from waste gas and heat. The produced ammonia and synthetic natural gas are going to be used by major industries such as agriculture, mining and advanced manufacturing.
Ammonia is a product utilised to make a number of products used in agricultural and mining sectors. Products include ammonium nitrate used in making explosives for mining and nitrogen-based fertilisers used in agriculture.
“While ammonia is produced elsewhere in Australia, this is the first time that the proposed coal gasification technology will be used to produce ammonia in Queensland.
“The project also proposes to use coal sourced from existing regional mines located close to Gladstone, further strengthening regional employment and job security,” Mr Dick said.
Minister Dick added that declaring this project as a coordinated project helps streamline approvals as well as fast-track the delivery of this significant development. Having a coordinated project status will also mean the development’s potential impacts and benefits are considered in a comprehensive and integrated manner.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said that locating the proposed energy and ammonia project within the Gladstone SDA will help support the region’s growing industries and help boost the local economy. This project is also expected to provide flow-on employment and economic benefits for the local community.
“The proponent has estimated 1,280 indirect jobs would be created during the operational phase, generating significant additional jobs for regional suppliers and contractors as well as increase employment opportunities for local communities.
“To have an Australian-first project of this scale proposed to happen right here in our backyard also sends a strong signal that Gladstone is open for business and ready to embrace innovative energy initiatives which tap into our resource-rich region,” Mr Butcher said.
The next step for this project is going to be the preparation of draft terms of reference by the Coordinator-General, with the community to be invited to comment on matters that will be addressed in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Construction on the Gladstone Energy and Ammonia Project is expected to commence in mid-2020, with first ammonia production projected for mid-2022.
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