Sydney: Australia on Wednesday approved a massive energy project that will supply natural gas worth tens of billions of dollars to China and India, giving new impetus to its resources boom.
Environment minister Peter Garrett imposed 28 conditions to protect wildlife but said he saw no reason to block the Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant off Western Australia, removing its final regulatory hurdle.
The project is a joint venture by Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and ExxonMobil Corp., which has signed a record $41 billion contract with Chinese giant PetroChina Co. Ltd and another worth $21 billion with India’s Petronet LNG Ltd.
Trade minister Simon Crean said the deal was a major boost to Australia’s profile as a green energy provider and proof China saw it as a key partner in its growth. Intense demand from the emerging economies of China and India for resources has underpinned a period of stellar growth for Australia’s mining and energy sectors.