Kimberley LNG plant backdown welcomed

THE dumping last week of Woodside Petroleum’s proposed liquefied natural gas plant at James Price Point in WA’s Kimberley region has been welcomed by groups opposed to the development.

Woodside Petroleum confirmed rumours late last week that it was scrapping plans for its $45 billion LNG project in the pristine Kimberley region in WA’s north.

Woodside has said the reason for pulling the plug on the project resulted from a review of the proposed Browse LNG processing plant, which found it would not deliver the returns needed.

The Browse Basin field itself is still expected to be developed, with joint venture partner Royal Dutch Shell to push for a cheaper floating LNG plant, which it is developing for its Prelude project in the same region as Browse.

Woodside said in a statement that it will review alternative ideas with its joint venture partners in the Browse project. The oil and gas giant said it was reviewing “alternative concepts” for commercialising Browse Basin gas, including a floating processing vessel, a smaller onshore plant at James Price Point and piping the gas hundred of kilometres south to its existing facilities at Karratha.

Green groups have welcomed the decision.

Kimberley fishing guide and chairperson for the Save The Kimberley group, Peter Tucker, said in a brief email statement to supporters, “I express my heart felt thanks for your past and present support for our long protracted fight against the proposed 50 billion dollar gas processing plant and other associated industries at James Price Point.”

“It was a welcome result and a great milestone victory for the people of Broome who fought so hard and never gave up campaining to save the Kimberley Coast for the future
and for all the people of Australia who got behind Save The Kimberley,” Tucker wrote.

Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Don Henry said the project would have done untold damage to the region’s coastline.

Wilderness Society director Lyndon Schneiders said Woodside’s decision should serve as a warning to both governments and businesses which wanted to force unwanted and unsustainable developments on communities.

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