Inpex to last for decades
JAPAN is hungry for energy and Darwin is clamouring to satisfy.
In a rare interview with Australian media, Inpex chief executive officer Toshiaki Kitamura said he hoped the Ichthys project would contribute to the Territory economy for the “next two or three generations”.
Mr Kitamura met Chief Minister Michael Gunner in Tokyo on Friday to discuss the company’s ongoing commitment to the Northern Territory as the construction phase winds down. The Ichthys project has an operating life of at least 40 years.
He said the $US34 billion project would help to slake the nation’s thirst for energy.
“We have around 70 projects globally but this Ichthys project is a world-class, huge, challenging project and this is key for future growth,” he said.
“Ichthys project will provide 70 per cent of its energy product to Japan, so it’s a very important contribution to energy security.”
Mr Kitamura said the com- pany was keen to explore other opportunities for energy projects in the NT, but the completion and delivery of Ichthys remained Inpex’s “utmost, number one priority”.
Darwin’s deepwater port and newly established marine supply base made it an attractive oil and gas hub, he said.
While in Japan, Mr Gunner signed an agreement with Inpex president director Seiya Ito reaffirming the company’s commitment to provide a “full, fair and reasonable” opportunity for Territory workers and businesses to win work on the gas project. The Territory also extended the option on the lease on land surrounding the Ichthys project for 15 years, giving the company the opportunity to expand its operations in the future.
Mr Gunner said the project would contribute to the Territory economy for decades.
“We’re going to see over the decades to come a very longterm reward for the relationship we have with Inpex,” he said.
Mr Gunner will travel to South Korea today to tour the Shell Prelude floating LNG facility.