More land to be cleared on Barrow Island

moreAN additional 32 hectares is set to be cleared at Barrow Island, with the WA Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) recommending the request to extend works at the Chevron-operated Gorgon Project.
Chevron intends to use the additional land for construction laydown and operations to support the LNG development.
Barrow Island, off the Pilbara coast, is an A-Class Nature Reserve and special recommendations were made to offset the significant impact the clearing would have on the island.
“The EPA’s assessment was an opportunity to re-examine the established management plans and the measures the proponent has taken to avoid, minimise and rectify impacts to flora, vegetation and fauna including selecting a site that avoided Boodie warrens and raptor nests,” EPA chairman Dr Paul Vogel said.
“The EPA concluded that the conditions set out in the original approval are effective in managing impacts and should be implemented for the additional development.”
The Gorgon Project operators already participate in a Threatened Species Translocation and Reintroduction Program and the EPA recommended this program be extended for an additional two years, taking the program life to 14 years.
“This offset represents a 10 per cent increase in the contribution, which is equal to the approximately 10 per cent increase in the project footprint from 300 hectares to 332 hectares,” Dr Vogel said. Dr Vogel said the Gorgon Project owners had also committed to rehabilitate land within the development envelope when no longer required to support construction and operation of the project.
The EPA’s report to the Environment minister was open for a two-week public appeal period, prior to the minister making a final decision.
Chevron recently confirmed that costs for the Gorgon Project, which includes a 15.6 million tonne per annum LNG plant on Barrow Island and a domestic gas plant with the capacity to supply 300 terajoules of gas per day, had blown out from US$37 billion to US$54 billion. The production schedule had also been revised, with start-up of the LNG plant and first gas planned for mid-2015.