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Darling Downs gas project ‘will support 1,600 jobs in 2016’

A $1.7 billion gas initiative on the western Darling Downs is set to support 1,600 employees this year, which could provide a boost for Queensland’s apprentices and trainees.

The Charlie Project already has 400 employees on site, with the remaining 1,200 staff being added gradually over the next 10 months.

Coal-seam gas (CSG) production company QGC is overseeing the development, and contractor Ezyquip Hire has already cleared the site and finished building drainage systems. Another contractor, FKG Group, has also begun working on roads connected to the site.

The two-year Charlie Project is a joint venture between QGC’s parent company BG Group, CNOOC and Tokyo Gas. BG Group revealed in the fourth editions of its quarterly Links Australia magazine that the development would strengthen the company’s operations in the Surat Basin.

QGC Vice-President of Surat Developments Bill McKenzie said the project has been successful so far, but the firm faces a range of challenges over the coming weeks and months to complete the initiative safely.

“The project represents a more streamlined approach to gas field development, involving more use of existing processing facilities and impacting few landholders,” he explained.

Queensland’s CSG sector

Australia Pacific LNG claims CSG fulfils approximately 90 per cent of Queensland’s gas requirements, as well as 15 per cent of the state’s electricity generation.

According to Energy Skills Queensland, there are currently four major CSG/LNG (liquefied natural gas) projects underway across the state, which could support as many as 18,000 direct and indirect jobs in Queensland.

The Charlie Project is a 2,500-hectare scheme located in a wider gas development area that stretches 123,000 hectares. Mr McKenzie confirmed the project would include the construction of a compression station and up to 400 wells, as well as new pipelines and facilities that link to existing infrastructure.

Ian Perks, Asset General Manager, said the last few years have been a learning experience for QGC. The company is now hoping to put the knowledge and skills built up on previous initiatives to have the best effect on the Charlie Project.

“We’ve had four central processing plants, 17 field compression stations and two water treatment plants, and it takes energy and drive for continuous improvement with each one,” he claimed.

Nevertheless, Mr Perks highlighted the “excellent track record” the firm has achieved over the years, adding that employees should be proud of their efforts.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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