$23b APLNG project gets final go ahead

The owners of the Australia Pacific liquefied natural gas (APLNG) project in Queensland have made a final commitment to the $23 billion project.

Origin Energy on Wednesday said it and its joint venture partners ConocoPhillips and China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec) had approved a final investment decision on the second of two development stages of the project.

APLNG consists of coal seam gas (CSG) fields in Queensland's Surat and Bowen basins, and a pipeline to an LNG plant on Curtis Island off the coast of Gladstone.

First production of gas is expected in 2015.

"As one of Australia's largest LNG export projects, the Australia Pacific LNG project stands to deliver significant value to Origin shareholders and to Australia, as well as jobs for the Australian community," Origin managing director Grant King said in a statement.

The final investments by the joint venture partners will result in Origin's stake in APLNG dropping from 42.5 per cent to 37.5 per cent.

ConocoPhillips also owns a 37.5 percent stake, and Sinopec the remaining 25 per cent.

Origin's remaining share of the cost of the project was about $3.6 billion, which the company expects to fund from existing loans and cash resources.

The final investment decision follows confirmation last week of a 20-year supply contract with Japanese power company Kansai.

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