Federal approval delayed for $15b Arrow LNG project

Federal approval for Arrow Energy’s $15 billion Curtis Island LNG plant has been delayed as Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt takes more time assess the potential impacts of the project.

Hunt was expected to make a decision on the project today, however the deadline has not been pushed to December 13.

A department spokesperson said the delay would allow Hunt more time to consider the proposal.

The multi-billion dollar LNG project was given state approval in September.

If given the federal green light it is set to become the fourth LNG development on Curtis Island near Gladstone.

Arrow’s LNG plant is projected to create around 3,500 jobs, and convert 18 million tonnes of coal seam gas a year into LNG ready for export.

The wider project will involve two large pipelines, one from the Surat Basin and one from the Bowen Basin, which have already been approved.

Environmentalists are vehemently opposed to the plant going ahead, stating that dredging will increase water sediment which will harm turtles, dugongs and coral.

"Curtis Island is within the reef's world heritage area yet its mangroves and beaches are being destroyed to build gas processing plants," Australian Marine Conservation Society reef campaign spokeswoman Felicity Wishart told the Brisbane Times.

"The three gas hubs already under construction are suffering from major cost overruns and there are questions about whether there is enough supply of gas to make all these processing plants viable.

"The last thing that Queensland needs is a fourth gas plant that damages the Reef and fails to deliver economic benefits to the state.

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