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NSW okays terminal


Australia’s New South Wales state approved plans by a Japanese-backed consortium to build a A$250 million ($176 million) liquefied natural gas import terminal at Port Kembla, looking to cut gas prices and avert a supply shortage.

The Port Kembla project is the first of five proposed LNG import terminals in Australia to receive planning approval. All of them are looking to help plug a looming supply shortage expected in the country’s southeast in the 2020s.

Australian Industrial Energy (AIE), the joint venture planning to build the berth for a floating LNG import facility at Port Kembla, about 100 km (60 miles) south of Sydney, said the approval means it can now focus on lining up gas customers.

AIE is aiming to make a final investment decision around the middle of this year.

"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," New South Wales Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean said in a statement.

The AIE joint venture partners are Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest’s Squadron Energy, Japan’s JERA Co, the world’s biggest buyer of LNG, and Japanese trading firm Marubeni Corp.

If they decide to go ahead with the project in the middle of this year, first gas could be delivered in 2020.

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