Vol 5: Environmental Impacts of Shipping Operations & Ancillary Infrastructure
Volume 5 of this Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for
the Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) Project assesses impacts of the
proposed LNG Component, Shipping Operations and Ancillary
Infrastructure against relevant environmental
The process for determining environmental values for the EIS is guided by Section 9 of the Environment Protection Act 1994 (Queensland). Section 9 of the EP Act (Qld) defines an environmental value as:
- a quality or physical characteristic of the environment that is conducive to ecological health or public amenity or safety; or
- another quality of the environment identified and declared to be an environmental value under an environmental protection policy or regulation.
For this volume of the EIS, a number of environmental factors or broad areas of investigation for which values can be ascribed, were identified and assessed in relation to:
- whether the overall Project or its constituent Project Components would impact on each factor
- the nature and degree of an impact on ecological health, public amenity or safety related to these environmental factors.
Environmental factors that were assessed to determine any environmental values, impacts and risks were:
- climate and climate change
- topography and geomorphology
- geology and soils
- land use and infrastructure
- land contamination
- terrestrial ecology
- marine ecology
- surface water resources
- groundwater resources
- coastal environment
- noise and vibration
- road, rail, air and public transport
- shipping transport
- visual amenity
- waste management
- hazard and risk assessment
Volume 5 describes the environmental values of the area affected by the construction, operation, decommissioning and rehabilitation of the LNG Component, Shipping Operations and associated Ancillary Infrastructure such as marine transportation facilities on the mainland at Gladstone and the Curtis Island Road/Bridge. QGC is not proposing to construct the Curtis Island Road/Bridge as part of the Project and, as such, will not be the proponent for construction or operation of the bridge and roads. Any management and mitigation measures included in this EIS applicable to the bridge and roads are included as recommendations only and are not commitments made by QGC.
This volume describes the potential adverse and beneficial impacts of these structures and associated activities on environmental values and addresses how adverse impacts can be mitigated and beneficial impacts can be supported. The methodology for determining impacts on environmental values is defined in Volume 1, Chapter 3 and a risk matrix summary for prior- and post-mitigation measures is detailed at the end of this volume in Chapter 20. Cumulative impacts arising from the concurrent development of other proposed projects in the Gladstone region are also addressed in this volume.
Pipeline activities that may be affected by, or impact upon, the environment include:
- clearing pipeline construction corridors, referred to as Right of Way (RoW), for installation of pipes
- excavation of pipe trenches
- restoration of the RoW
- erecting and operating temporary accommodation camps and administration facilities
- installing in-line compression facilities which comprise compressors, a vent for pressure management, power generation facilities and a water management system, including an onsite evaporation pond
- transport of plant, equipment and materials
- maintenance and surveillance activities during operations
Construction will occur over 18 months between 2011 and
Further details about the operation and construction of the Pipeline Component are described in Volume 2, Chapter 8 and Volume 2, Chapter 12 respectively.
Overview of LNG Component, Shipping Operations & Associated Ancillary Infrastructure
The proposed infrastructure and activities for which impacts are assessed in Volume 5 are outlined briefly below and described in detail in Volume 2.
- LNG Component - This involves the development, construction and operation of an LNG processing plant and export facility (LNG Facility), to be located on Curtis Island adjacent to the city of Gladstone, with ultimate capacity of up to 12 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). Nominally this will comprise three LNG trains, each of 3 to 4 mtpa production capacity. The LNG Component will also comprise a marine jetty and LNG loading and propane unloading facilities in Gladstone harbour. Impacts of the Export Pipeline from the point of The Narrows crossing to the LNG Facility are also included.
- Shipping Operations - Export of LNG produced from the LNG plant will be undertaken via loading operations into specialised LNG tanker ships operated by BG Shipping, a subsidiary of the BG Group plc, which will transport LNG from Gladstone to customers in Asia and other global export markets.
- Ancillary Infrastructure - associated with the LNG Component covered in the impact assessment of Volume 5 includes infrastructure required to facilitate construction and long-term operational access to the LNG Facility on Curtis Island. Options to provide this access include the development of marine transportation facilities and barge/ferry operations; construction of a bridge and roads connecting Curtis Island to the Gladstone mainland (Curtis Island Road/Bridge); or a combination of both. Note that while impacts associated with the development of the Curtis Island Road/Bridge are discussed within this EIS, this infrastructure does not constitute a component of the QCLNG Project for which QGC is seeking approval under this EIS. This infrastructure will require a separate environmental approval process should the Department of Infrastructure and Planning (DIP) proceed with development.
Volume 6 provides a detailed description of the proposed
development of new Shipping Channel infrastructure in the Gladstone
harbour to access the LNG Facility. The proposed dredging works
will largely be undertaken by a separate proponent, the Gladstone
Ports Corporation (GPC).
Therefore, approval for these dredging works is not sought under this EIS.