Illawarra Business Chamber Executive Director Adam Zarth has welcomed the proposal to build a new LPG import facility in NSW and says that Port Kembla provides an ideal location for such a facility.
The $300 million proposal from joint venture, Australian Industrial Energy, has seen Port Kembla short-listed as a preferred location, alongside Newcastle and Kurnell.
“Port Kembla provides an ideal location for an LPG import facility due to its proximity to customers and infrastructure. It would provide greater energy security for large manufacturers such as BlueScope for whom energy is their fastest escalating business cost. BlueScope alone was hit with a $17 million increase in its energy costs during the past 6 months,” said Mr Zarth.
“We are urging NSW planning officials to meet as soon as possible with the project proponents and any other potential suppliers to discuss what needs to be done to ensure red tape doesn’t strangle new sources of much needed gas supply to NSW.
“We understand there needs to be due diligence in planning assessments, however, we don’t want to lose yet another opportunity due to uncertainty or lengthy bureaucratic processes.
“Without this project, rising gas prices, restrictions on gas exploration and concerns regarding potential gas shortages will continue to threaten the viability of Illawarra businesses.
“Gas is an indispensable commodity for manufacturers and an essential energy source for industry, as well as for millions of households.”
NSW imports around 97 per cent of the total volume of natural gas it uses from other states and territories. The Chamber has stressed the importance of increasing supply as a means of providing greater energy security and the potential to put downward pressure on prices.