Victorian government rejects AGL proposal for LNG terminal at Crib Point

April 5, 2021

The Victorian government has blocked the proposal by Sydney-based AGL and APA groups to establish an LNG reception terminal at Crib Point on Western Port Bay south of Melbourne, Australia, and an associated gas pipeline to the Victorian grid at Pakenham.

The proposal would have “unacceptable effects on the environment in Western Port which is listed as a Ramsar wetland of international significance,” said Planning Minister Richard Wynne.

The $250 million (Aus.) proposal involved a floating LNG reception terminal moored to a pier at Crib Point and associated infrastructure onshore to feed the gas into the domestic network.

AGL estimates it has spent $130 million (Aus.) on total committed or incurred expenditure for the project preparations to date.

The proposal has generated significant local opposition during the last 2 years. The environment effects statement resulted in more than 600 submissions and led to an independent inquiry. The report was handed to Minister Wynne the week of Mar. 22.

AGL chief executive Brett Redman said the company was reviewing and considering its position following the Victorian Government’s decision.

He added that AGL was open to making a deal with one of the other groups vying to build gas import terminals in southeastern Australia – including Viva Energy at the site of the Geelong refinery west of Melbourne in Victoria and the Australian Industrial Energy Group at Port Kembla south of Sydney in New South Wales.

The impetus for such terminals is their use as a potential solution to winter gas shortfalls expected in Victoria and New South Wales in the short to medium term.

The Wynne decision for Western Port has still to be considered by the federal government environment minister.