Construction of the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline, which will run from Tennant Creek to Mount Isa, has been launched.
The 622km gas pipeline will connect the Northern Territory to the eastern gas pipeline grid and possibly assist with the east coast gas shortage that is expected in the coming years. First gas is expected to flow in late 2018.
Construction of the pipeline is forecast to create around 900 jobs, with maintenance and operations teams to be based in Tennant Creek and Mount Isa once it is developed.
The pipeline will be important for the NT Government’s plans to develop Tennant Creek into a mining services centre in the Territory.
In April, the NT Government committed to funding for a feasibility study into the development of a common user mine and processing facility at Tennant Creek.
The feasibility study will determine the viability of the project, which aims to allow small mining operations to begin without the cost of a major investment in their processing fees.
NT chief minister Michael Gunner said pipeline developer, Jemena, estimated there would be around 100 contracts available for the project, in addition to the jobs.
“The Territory Labor Government is developing Tennant Creek as a mining services centre – construction of the Northern Gas Pipeline will see increased opportunities for regional development through local involvement, as well as increased opportunities for businesses and for training and skills development,” Gunner said.
Mining and exploration activity is increasing in the NT, with several prospects receiving Project Facilitation Agreements (PFA) earlier this year.
Emmerson Resources also announced last month that it had secured final approvals to launch production at the Edna Beryl gold operation in the Tennant Creek area. Edna Beryl is the NT’s first new gold mine in more than a decade.