Australia: Bonaparte FLNG Project Receives Environmental Approval

Environment Minister Tony Burke has approved a proposal by GDF SUEZ Bonaparte Pty Ltd and their venture partner Santos Offshore Pty Ltd, to develop the Bonaparte Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Project subject to 15 strict conditions.

The Bonaparte floating facility will be located approximately 250km west of Darwin and will produce and export liquefied natural gas.

This is the second floating liquefied natural gas facility in Australia to be approved.

My approval follows a rigorous assessment process under national environment law including the opportunity for public comment,” Mr Burke said.

“I have set 15 strict conditions to manage the potential impacts to migratory and threatened species, and the marine environment.

“A number of management plans will need to be implemented throughout the development phases and submitted for my approval.

“This includes an Operational Phase Environment Plan, which must be submitted for my approval, will cover the management of discharges and minimise impacts on the marine environment.

“The proponent will also need to implement procedures minimising impacts on whales and dolphins including applying a 500 metre caution zone between whales and vessels to reduce potential impacts such as vessel strike.

“Importantly, the proponent will be required to adhere to all relevant measures to address the risk of a spill, including capacity to respond to a spill to protect the matters of National Environmental Significance.

“The company will be further required to submit an Operational Scientific Monitoring Program to enable an assessment of any impacts and implement an agreed monitoring program in the event of a spill.”

This is consistent with the Government’s response to the Montara incident and consistent with approval conditions imposed on other offshore petroleum projects.

Press Release, October 25, 2012

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