The Minister for Planning, the Hon. Mary Delahunty, MP released the recommendation following a rigorous assessment process coordinated by an independent panel between May 9th and June 6, 2002. The panel assessed the joint EES/ EIS against a wide range of stakeholder, environmental and regulatory requirements and heard submissions from the public.
The final Government sign-off for the project now rests with Federal Minister of the Environment and Heritage, the Hon. Dr. David Kemp, MP.
Origin Energy Project Manager BassGas, John Stead commented, "Today's announcement is excellent news for the Joint Venture. Following months of extensive consultations with key stakeholders we're very pleased that the EES/ EIS process has addressed the major state requirements. "The BassGas project is significant as it will bring the largest alternate gas supply into south eastern Australia since the Gippsland gas fields came on-line. We anticipate sales gas production from the Yolla field will begin in the third quarter of 2004," Mr Stead said.
Managing Director AWE, Bruce Phillips, said, "We are pleased the BassGas Project has received the support of the Victorian Government in this important public consultation process. However, the key to the project's success will continue to depend on the Joint Venture's good relationship with all stakeholders, including the local communities and the Victorian, Tasmanian and Federal government authorities. "We are determined to bring competitively priced gas to the southeast Australian community, and along with it, jobs for many Australians during the project's construction phase," Mr Phillips said.
The Joint Venture estimates that the BassGas Project will produce enough gas to service up to 67 terajoules of gas sales a day, together with substantial volumes of condensate and LPG. It is expected to supply around 10 percent of the Victorian natural gas market over the next 15 years.
Origin Energy has agreed to purchase 95 percent of the 20 petajoules of gas produced per annum for its Retail business.
Participants in the T/RL1 Joint Venture are: Origin Energy as Operator with 37.5%; AWE with 37.5%; CalEnergy with 20.0% and Santos with the remaining 5.0%.
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