Gas deal puts fertiliser plant closer
A $4.5 billion fertiliser plant in the Pilbara that could create more than 2000 construction jobs moved closer to reality last week when Perdaman Chemical and Fertilisers signed up 20 years of gas from Woodside.
Perdaman chairman Vikas Rambal said he looked forward to starting work on the project in the near future.
“This is a landmark gas contract between two Western Australian companies, Perdaman and Woodside, and importantly kickstarts a new wave of local manufacturing in the State, creating local jobs and supporting the local community on the Burrup,” he said.
Perdaman, a private Perth-based multinational with interests in energy, commercial property, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, has already spent $US175 million ($240 million) on the urea project.
For the project to go ahead, Perdaman must finalise agreements with customers for two million tonnes of urea to be produced a year. It must also bring partners into the project, finish financing arrangements, and gain government approvals. The plant would be the first to export the fertiliser from Australia.
Mr Rambal said in May that subject to approvals, construction of the plant would start in the first quarter of 2020.
The project would create more than 2000 jobs during a three-year construction period, according to a Perdaman statement. A permanent 200-strong Karratha-based workforce would operate the plant.
About 125 terajoules a day of gas will mainly come from Woodside’s proposed Scarborough LNG project, which is also scheduled to go ahead in 2020.
The gas, equivalent to about 12 per cent of WA’s current demand, is combined with nitrogen from the air to form urea. Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman said the deal was another step towards the company’s plan to have a gas hub on the Burrup Peninsula.
Two weeks ago, a methanol plant proposed for the Burrup Peninsula by a Wesfarmers-led consortium and Perdaman’s urea plant were referred to the Environmental Protection Authority.