by Jessica Schremmer
QGC's latest natural gas plant project has the capacity to supply almost half of Queensland's daily demand.
The Charlie plant, located 20km west of Wandoan, was officially opened last Thursday by Shell QGC vice-president Tony Nunan and Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh.
The plant will supply up to an additional 90petajoules of natural gas annually to Australian homes, businesses and liquefied natural gas customers.
Shell QGC vice-president Tony Nunan said the project would continue to help meet demand for domestic gas.
"We have continued to divert gas into the local market from Shell's Curtis Island LNG plant to supply local customers,” Mr Nunan said.
"But it's not only domestic gas customers who benefit from continued investment such as ours. Local communities also benefit through job creation and opportunities for local businesses to share in supply chain contracts.”
The construction of the plant started last year and created 1600 jobs in regional Queensland.
Cr McVeigh said the Charlie plant opening guaranteed the economic diversity of the region.
"It has given our region tremendous diversity of another income stream in the region and what it has done is really guarantee the long-term economic security of our region,” Cr McVeigh said.
"The opening of Charlie field is delivering gas into the system and will deliver gas for many years to come, so it is actually cementing one of the four economic pillars in our region in the resource sector.
"With the new release and the agreement with Arrow Energy and the 27-year contract, it has underpinned the security of this region in the resource sector for years to come.”
Deputy Mayor Andrew Smith said it was important to the community the plant supplied long-term economic benefits.
"It has supplied a large number of jobs through construction,” Cr Smith said.
"I do know it does supply long-term jobs for our region through the maintenance staff that will be needed now to operate and service that facility.”
Mr Nunan said in Chinchilla alone, Shell's QGC business was adding $1.2billion to the local economy across the next 25years.
"This contribution to local economies will act as a powerful hedge in previous agricultural-dependent local economies.” Mr Nunan said.