In­pex to last for decades

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - HAY­LEY SORENSEN in Tokyo

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.

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