New burst of infrastructure energy

The state’s economy continues to pick up speed in the city and the bush with new projects spread across natural gas, wind farms, nickel mines and city apartments.

The winter edition of WA Works, due for publication in early July, will show that WA infrastructure and supply businesses are busy, with more projects coming to light.

Seven new listings identified to date – including two giant gas projects off the Pilbara coast – already top $10 billion in total value, with many more expected.

The fresh batch of prospects will expand the current WA Works’ Major Projects List, provided exclusively to subscribers in the autumn edition of WA’s most well-read supply chain magazine.

Natural gas, the ‘old’ energy source expected to burn brightly even in a low-carbon future, accounts for the bulk of the $14 billion in projects added to the autumn edition.

This is courtesy of Woodside’s $12bn plan to monetise its stranded Scarborough gas field.

And lithium – the battery metal that keeps on giving to WA industry – hit another purple patch with four new listings storming onto the major projects list.

Comprised of three mine expansions and one downstream processing venture, the lithium projects are part of 12 new entries overall for autumn.

But it is Woodside’s plan to build a new gas processing hub in the Pilbara, built around the remote Scarborough and Browse resources, that continues to dominate the thoughts of engineering and construction companies.

Woodside may approve the $12bn development as early as 2020, propelling the forgotten gas field off the Pilbara coast into the front of Woodside’s development queue.

At the other end of the spectrum, the new-age energy metal, lithium, keeps moving into WA’s mining and economic folklore, albeit in more modest steps.

Talison has set the stage for a second mine expansion at the giant Greenbushes operation by appointing MSP Engineering to undertake a feasibility study into a further increase beyond the $320 million CGP2 expansion currently in construction.

An investment decision on Talison’s new CGP3 project is expected by the third quarter.

The other fresh lithium projects now on the boil are two separate mine expansions at the Pilgangoora hub, a $207 million upgrade by Pilbara Minerals and an expansion by Altura Mining.

The biggest of the lot, however, may turn out to be Albemarle’s yet-to-be-costed plan to build a major downstream lithium processing facility at the Kemerton industrial estate in Bunbury, starting later this year.

Want to keep up to date with major projects? Email waworks@cciwa.com to arrange a subscription to the state’s most informative and widely-read supply chain magazine. 

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