Offsets generated as Japan takes stake in Wheatstone

MORE than $13 million in environmental offsets generated by the Wheatstone LNG project in WA will be invested into protecting and researching the Pilbara’s marine and coastal environment.
In a statement, WA Environment minister Bill Marmion said that State Government conditions imposed on Chevron Australia’s $29 billion project 12km west of Onslow included regulations to protect whales, turtles, dolphins and dugongs as
well as seagrass, coral and mangroves.
Set to be one of Australia’s largest resource developments, the Wheatstone LNG project has approval to produce up to 25 million tonnes per annum of LNG.
Mr Marmion said that the offset agreements had been finalised and the funds would be invested in a range of projects to address the residual environmental impacts and risks to marine fauna and flora.
“About $7.9 million has been allocated to improve the understanding and management of the impacts of dredging on tropical marine communities,” Mr Marmion said.
“This package also includes research into identifying and improving the management of critical habitats for threatened marine species including humpback whales, dugongs and snubfin dolphins in Pilbara waters.”
Mr Marmion added that a further $5.25 million would allow the Fisheries and the Environment and Conservation Departments to manage the impacts and risks associated with potential increased visitation and additional recreational fishing.
The package included investment to manage the potential impact on offshore islands and the Cane River Conservation Park, and proposed extensions.
“These projects funded by the offsets package will benefit the community of Western Australia by contributing to a better managed and protected environment and by generating information that will help inform future project approvals,” Mr Marmion said.
Meanwhile, Chevron has signed additional binding agreements with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) for the purchase of a further 400,000tpa of LNG for a period of up to 20 years.
Through a related company, TEPCO will also acquire a 10 per cent participating interest from Chevron in the Wheatstone field licences and an 8 per cent interest in the natural gas processing facilities.
Combined with TEPCO’s existing sales and purchase agreement, the company’s total Wheatstone LNG offtake is now 4.2mtpa.
Chevron Australia managing director Roy Krzywosinski said in a statement that more than 80 per cent of Chevron’s equity LNG from the Wheatstone project was covered under long-term offtake agreements with customers in Asia.
“These agreements continue to demonstrate Wheatstone is well placed geographically to meet the Asia-Pacific region’s demand for a safe, reliable and cleaner burning source of energy,” Mr Krzywosinski said.

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