Chevron to clear more land on Barrow Island

Western Australia's Environmental Protection Authority has given Chevron permission to use an extra 10 per cent of A-class land on Barrow Island as the company pushes to finish its Gorgon LNG project.

The company will expand its footprint on the island in a plan that will see the clearing of a further 32ha of land in addition to the 300ha that it was already permitted to disturb.

EPA Chairman Paul Vogel said the proposal was assessed to determine if the existing conditions on the development could be applied to the revised footprint.

"The EPA concluded that the conditions set out in the original approval are effective in managing impacts and should be implemented for the additional development,” Vogel said.

An extra condition of the approval means Chevron will be required to extend a "threatened species translocation and reintroduction program" at the island from 12 years to 14 years.

The extra space will be used for additional laydown and logistical support, with Chevron and its partners hoping it will improve efficiencies at the site.

Logistics on the island have been an issue as strict rules and quarantine requirements that come with working on an A-class nature reserve proving one of the projects biggest challenges.

High labour costs and a strong Australian dollar have also proved testing with the project experiencing massive cost blowouts.

It is now estimated to cost $US54 billion, up from the previous forecast of $US52 billion and is not due to be completed until mid-2015.

Originally the project was supposed to cost $US39 billion and begin shipping LNG in 2014.

Chevron vice chairman George Kirkland has previously said the economics of the project remain attractive.

“We continue to make steady progress against key project milestones and are applying lessons learned to our Wheatstone development which is almost 25 per cent complete,” he said.

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