On 9 April 2021, Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) received notification that AGL had withdrawn its works approval for a floating gas terminal at Crib Point in Westernport Bay. As a result, the EPA will no longer be making a decision under section 19B of the Environment Protection Act 1970 in relation to the project.
AGL and APA Group’s proposed project comprised the Crib Point floating storage and regassification unit (FSRU); jetty works and a receiving facility at Crib Point; and 57 kilometres of pipeline from Crib Point to Pakenham. The pipeline was proposed to be developed and constructed by APA Group.
The FSRU would have been continuously moored at Berth 2 of Crib Point Jetty. It would have received imported liquid natural gas (LNG) from carrier ships and then converted it back into gas. The receiving facility would then have treated the gas before piping it into the natural gas network.
Last month Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne rejected the floating gas terminal proposal because it would have ‘unacceptable environmental effects on the environment in Western Port, which is listed as a Ramsar wetland of international significance’.
The Minister’s decision was based on an Environment Effects Statement (EES) produced by AGL and APA Group, around 6,000 public submissions and a report into the findings of the statement by an independent Inquiry and Advisory Committee.
The works approval with Victoria’s EPA was a parallel process, relating to the chlorinated wastewater the terminal would have discharged into the bay.
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley still needs to make her decision on the project.
In March AGL estimated that total committed or incurred expenditure on the project to date is approximately $130 million, compared with the committed or incurred expenditure of $102 million noted in AGL’s ASX release of 12 June 2018.
A report of the EES assessment is available from planning.vic.gov.au/environment-assessment