The Northern Territory government has given the $800m Northern Gas Pipeline project the green light after granting a construction license.

Jemena, the company building the 622km pipeline between Tennant Creek and Mt Isa in Queensland, says the project will play a crucial role in solving Australia’s gas supply crisis by bringing gas to the east coast market.

“Jemena is also well progressed on a feasibility assessment to expand and extend the NGP to (Queensland’s) Wallumbilla gas hub,” Jemena project director Jonathan Spink said.

Mr Spink said Jemena would be able to quickly scale-up the NGP to deliver up to or beyond 700TJ of gas per day to the east coast, dependent on demand.

“The NGP continues to be the cheapest and most direct route to deliver gas to where it is needed most and is the sensible choice in responding to the east-coast gas crunch,” he said.

Last month the Turnbull government struck a deal with the Nick Xenophon Team for a feasibility study into a $1 billion pipeline from the NT to South Australia.

NT Resources Minister Ken Vowles said a thorough assessment of the NGP environmental management plan was undertaken which included an independent review.

“It will generate around 900 jobs during construction and will support our government’s plans to develop Tennant Creek as a resources industry services hub,” he said.

Jemena addressed eight recommendations from the independent NT Environmental Protection Authority as well as those of the Commonwealth environmental regulator to win approval.

A consent to construct the Phillip Creek Station Compressor Facility, north of Tennant Creek, has also been granted and work will begin in under a fortnight.

Further construction works are on track to start in midway through the year.


By Lucy Hughes Jones