CURTIS ISLAND and LNG
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
The race is on to deliver Australia's first LNG export from coal seam gas (CSG) and it's happening in Central Queensland’s front yard – on Curtis Island and in Gladstone Harbour.
There are 3 LNG projects approved and in construction, and a fourth being considered in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process on Curtis Island. There is a 5th project for an LNG facility on Fisherman’s Landing in Gladstone Harbour, which is approved but not in construction. (as at June 2013)
The four LNG projects are all located in the Curtis Island Industry Precinct of the Gladstone State Development Area (GSDA). This is the dark purple area at the south western end of the island on the first map below. The second map shows the LNG plant locations.
LNG Precinct on Curtis Island dredged channels and ship berths
Fisherman’s Landing – site for Gladstone LNG (LNG Ltd)
Full details of the Federal Government approvals and EIS process and State approvals are available for the first three LNG facilities at these links. State Government approvals for Gladstone LNG are available here.
The first two of these (GLNG and QCLNG) received approval of their EIS from Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, on 22 Oct 2010, with 300 conditions attached. At the same time he also gave approval to Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) for their Gladstone Harbour Western Basin Dredging Project with 52 conditions attached. However no amount of conditions can mitigate the devastating impact of dredging the harbour and clearing of mangroves and vegetation on Curtis Island. Click here for an initial summary of the key conditions of these approvals.
Environmental concerns & damage
The damage to the environment associated with the construction of LNG facilities in our marine and coastal environments, and the extraction of CSG in our catchments is quite significant. Here is a summary in five main areas:-
(a) Loss of habitat at Curtis Island and Gladstone Harbour with LNG facility construction,
(b) Impacts of dredging on water quality and marine life in Gladstone Harbour for new channels and berths for LNG ships,
(c) Impacts on habitat caused by CSG pipeline construction,
(d) The greenhouse gas emissions of exploiting this polluting, non-renewable, temporary resource, and
(e) Effects on groundwater resources, river water, farming and conservation land from CSG drilling & extraction.
More specifically CCC has concerns that the LNG and CSG industry proposals will permanently harm the environment and include many uncertainties:
• CSG extraction releasing huge volumes (gigalitres) of salty underground water,
• potential to contaminate groundwater supplies and valuable agricultural land,
• depletion of the groundwater resources, threatening the Great Artesian Basin,
• proposals to pump treated CSG water into the rivers of the Fitzroy Basin, threating river ecology and water quality,
• disruption to food production from the vast network of bores, pipelines and roads playing havoc with agricultural land,
• loss of habitat and ecosystems for the construction of LNG facilities, CSG pipelines & wells,
• turning Gladstone Harbour upside down though millions of tonnes of sea bed being dredged and dumped,
• threats to dugong, dolphins, turtles, fisheries, seagrass beds and other marine life,
• gas pipelines crossing the Boyne geological fault line which formed The Narrows,
• destruction of a large area on Curtis Island, all for a temporary industry,
• And the need for regulatory departments to get a better handle on the problems.
The big picture – CSG is not clean energy – the future is in renewables
CCC wants to debunk the myth that coal seam gas and LNG is a ‘clean’ energy. LNG still emits half the CO2 of burning coal. Don't be fooled. It may seem cleaner (a clear gas vs. a black solid), but it is still a very serious source of greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, this supposedly ‘clean’ tag distracts us from pursuing truly renewable energy resources such as solar-thermal, solar and wind energies. The future is in renewable energy and we need to be making the transition from fossil fuel to renewables now if we are to have any hope of tackling climate change and reducing CO2 emissions on a local and global scale.
See our submissions on:
Arrow LNG EIS
APLNG & QGC Permit changes in The Narrows