OT? Australia - Federal Gas-to-liquid project announced

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In view of so many petro-plants ageing with troubles, here's a different story....

Story Link

Fed Gas-to-liquid project to create thousands of jobs - Howard
Source: AAP
Published: Friday February 18, 11:30 AM

The go ahead for a gas-to-liquid chemical project worth $620 million in north-western Australia would provide thousands of jobs, Prime Minister John Howard said today.

The United States-based Syntroleum Corporation said the project, on the Burrup Peninsula near Karratha, would process 10,000 barrels of synthetic specialty chemicals per day.

The company said the plant would create more than 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and as many as 200 permanent jobs once in operation.

"It's going to involve, once it's up-and-running, in direct and indirect terms, the generation of thousands of jobs," Howard told ABC radio.

"We are going to be able to get leading edge technology available for this country.

"I think it is the first value-added project in the natural resources area since 1985 and it's a signal to the rest of the world how competitive the Australian economy is and how attractive it is to invest in this country."

Syntroleum said the plant, sited 4 km from the North West Shelf Joint Venture LNG Plant, would generate estimated revenues of $7.4 billion over 20 years.

Federal Industry, Science and Resources Minister Nick Minchin said the project meant Australia would become a key participant in one of the leading clean energy technologies of the 21st century.

"Converting natural gas into synthetic fuels gives us a powerful new tool for unlocking the value of Australia's energy reserves, creating new jobs, enhancing our universities' high technology and engineering programs, and improving the quality of our environment," he said.

The Western Australian government had agreed to invest $30 million in a general infrastructure package including roadways and a desalinisation plant to which the Sweetwater Project would supply steam and receive water.

"This represents the emergence of Western Australia as a world centre for petrochemical production," WA Resources Development Minister Colin Barnett said.

"It is part of a long-term strategy by the state to establish an integrated petrochemical industry in the Pilbara, based on the extensive reserves of the greater North West Shelf gas province and gas transportation infrastructure," Barnett said.

The plant is expected to convert natural gas into high profit margin specialty products including paraffins, synthetic lubricants, drilling fluids and some synthetic fuels.


East Timor is just next door. The oil reserves are proven.

Regards from OZ

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), February 18, 2000


The Pilbara Region is in North Western Australia. Huge iron ore deposits are mined up there too.

It's also the way into Australia if you are an illegal migrant or refugee. 1000 such desperate people are intercepted today. Over 3000 are in detention camps already. More are anticipated.

In the event of challenges to Australian sovereignty it may come via the Pilbara and North West routes. There is no connected infrastructure to speak of. It requires a reason to be build in such a far flung corner. That's why this story is important. Australia is mobilizing. Slowly but noticably. A rail link to Darwin is about to be go ahead. The military forces advertisements on TV are to recruit trainees. The beat goes on...

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), February 18, 2000.


Mobilizing because of the instability of the situations in East Timor? Indonesia? Is Australia expecting masses of illegals, or even invasion?

To you the answers may be obvious, but to me here in Ohio, U.S.A. for example, all I know if what I can read periodically about those situations in your part of the world.

Thank you for your periodic posts and for your comments! I for one have found them both intresting and informative.

-- redeye in ohio (not@work.com), February 18, 2000.

G'Day Redeye,
Often I wonder if Americans have a mental picture of Australia that's different to the reality. The truth is that we have a landmass as large as yours, but with only 19 million people, mostly on the East coastal fringe.

The Pilbara and Kimberly regions of North Western Australia are the closest to Indonesia, a country of over 200 million. This country is used as a staging post for illegals to make a run to Australia. Christmas Island is one place they landfall, and so is Ashmore Reef. If you are desperate too, this is how they make an attempt at improving their lot.

Lately elligal immigration is getting worrying. It is the biggest such movement in our history since 1788. More are coming with the Middle East as source. It's a sort of invasion. We all hope Indonesia is too busy with their internal domestic strife....la-di-dah...

We never have had much infrastructure development up there. Hardly the place to make home. It's super frontier meant for resilient dudes, croc hunters and pearl fishers and oil freaks.

Now that such infrastructure is going ahead local industries are solicited this week to supply. From catering to boiler makers. Anything.

Such energy happened once before. In the 1950s. The Snowy Mountain Hydro Schemes. This time Darwin is the epicentre of activity. A railroad that was planned 100 years ago will go ahead to connect it to the Southern Industrials. This is bigger than big.

All of this needs protection I suppose. The TV advertisements for the military have become a regular barrage. Never quite seen anything like it. East Timor certainly stirred the possum and conscription has been talked about quite a bit - but dismissed.

If you are young and adventurous go West! There's money to be made. Lotsa filthy lucre!!!!Oils ain't oils until you've seen this.

Hope this helps explain just a little of the OZ scene. It's only just beginning.

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), February 18, 2000.

Another Story Link

Please note the final paragraph tying up East Timor and Papua New Guinea...also note that the Federal funding makes happenings - even in the most outlandishly distant places...you'd think such industry would go to the labour market rather than dragging the labour up to it. Just think of the other logistics involved.

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), February 18, 2000.

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