Mar 26, 2010

Major Project Facilitation status Collie Urea Project

Major Project Facilitation status Collie Urea Project

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

March 26 2010

I have granted Major Project Facilitation (MPF) status to the Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers Collie Urea Project, underscoring our efforts to support investment that will position Australia to take full advantage of the global economic recovery.

The project would build Australia’s first manufacturing plant of its type – one that would turn coal from the nearby Collie mine into urea for fertiliser through a process of gasification.

A separate feasibility study is being conducted into the possibility of co-locating a carbon capture facility, with the aim of sequestering the surplus carbon resulting from the extraction of the urea.

If both projects proceed they will deliver the world’s biggest coal gasification and storage facility.

The Collie Urea Project has the potential to deliver considerable benefits to the West Australian economy, with planned capital expenditure of around US$2.5 billion and annual export earnings in the order of US$660 million.

The project would also create up to 2,000 construction jobs, and 200 ongoing skilled positions.

The MPF program is administered by my Department, with the purpose of facilitating and supporting private sector investment proposals through the approval processes of Federal and state/territory authorities. However, this support does not guarantee that these approvals will be granted.

The program also assists with the early identification of impediments to greater private sector investment.

The Rudd Labor Government has granted or renewed MPF status to projects worth more than $50 billion with the potential to create up to 24,000 jobs across the vital sectors of infrastructure, mining and resources, and advanced manufacturing.

BACKGROUND

The Major Project Facilitation program is administered by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.

Under the program, the Department provides the project with a facilitation service to achieve quick and timely assistance from the Australian Government. The service ensures:

  • Access to information on government approval processes;
  • All relevant government processes are coordinated, including those of state and territory governments, so that as far as possible they occur simultaneously and without duplication;
  • Government agencies respond promptly to issues raised by the project proponent during the approval process; and
  • Assistance in identifying and accessing government programs is provided.

MPF status does not imply any Government guarantee for the commercial success or otherwise of the project, nor does it absolve the project from meeting less than the full statutory and other requisite criteria of relevant approval processes.

Proponents may apply to the Minister for MPF status if their proposed project meets the following three criteria:

1. The project is of strategic significance to Australia:

  • The project will significantly boost Australian industry innovation.

a) Increasing research and development (R&D) and commercialisation capability; and/or

b) A new application of skills and knowledge; and/or

c) Technology transfer; and/or

d) Cluster development.

  • Or, the project will have significant net economic benefit for regional Australia, taking account of a region’s investment needs.
  • Or, the project’s estimated investment exceeds A$50 million or makes a significant contribution to economic growth, employment and/or infrastructure.

2. It requires Australian Government approval(s) in order to proceed and/or significant Australian Government involvement through, for example, federal programs.

3. It has sufficient financial resources to complete the Australian Government approval(s) process and has demonstrated commercial viability.

Further details on the program are available from the Major Project Facilitation Unit within the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government: GPO Box 594, CANBERRA, 2601 or telephone +61 2 6274 7251.