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Open for Comment: Draft Terms of Reference for the NT Link Project

04 Sep 2015

The Northern Territory Government (NTG) is working to facilitate the development of a gas pipeline connection from the Northern Territory to meet energy demands on the eastern seaboard and to contribute to national energy security. The NTG has granted major project status to the proposed gas pipeline, known as the North East Gas Interconnector (NEGI), and has commenced a competitive bid process to identify proponents to build, own and operate the pipeline.

The APA Group is one of four proponents who were invited by the NTG to progress to the final request for proposals stage for the NEGI. A decision regarding the successful proponent is expected to be made later this year.

The APA Group proposes the NT Link Project as a solution for the NEGI. The APA Group proposes to construct and operate a high pressure underground gas pipeline between its existing facilities on the Amadeus Gas Pipeline, approximately 40 km northwest of Tennant Creek, and the Carpentaria Gas Pipeline near Mount Isa, Queensland. The pipeline would be 632 km in length; approximately 459 km would be in the Northern Territory.

The APA Group proposes to commence construction activities in the second half of 2016 and begin commissioning in early 2018. The pipeline would be designed to have an operational life of 60 years.

The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has decided that the NT Link Project relevant to the Northern Territory requires assessment under the Environmental Assessment Act at the level of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Queensland Coordinator-General has declared the NT Link Project relevant to Queensland to be a 'coordinated project for which an EIS is required' under section 26(1)(a) of the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (Qld).

The NT EPA and the Coordinator-General have prepared separate draft Terms of References to assist the APA Group in preparing an EIS, which are currently available for public review and comment. Interested persons and organisations wanting to comment on the draft Terms of Reference prepared by the NT EPA are invited to make written submissions on or before Friday 18 September 2015. To obtain a copy of the draft Terms of Reference and to make a submission visit www.nt.gov.au/envirocomment.

Interested persons and organisations wanting to view and comment on the draft Terms of Reference prepared by the Queensland Coordinator-General should refer to the Queensland Coordinator-General webpage (www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/nt-link) for more information.

Commenters are encouraged to provide submissions to the NT EPA and the Queensland Coordinator-General if their submission relates to both jurisdictions.