Midway through the last decade, several multinational companies approached the Western Australian Government seeking to process natural gas onshore from the Browse Basin and export LNG from various locations along the Kimberley coastline.
The government was concerned about the impacts of multiple developments upon the Kimberley and, in response, determined that it would identify one location at which multiple companies could establish gas processing and export facilities.
The government considered 43 sites before shortlisting 11 sites for further technical evaluation. After broad stakeholder consultation, the preferred site south of James Price Point was identified.
The main reasons for selecting this site were:
- there was deep water near the site which minimised the amount and cost of dredging required
- the site was located close enough to existing infrastructure in Broome but far enough away to avoid any impacts on populations
- land on the site was relatively flat which reduced the visual impact of the development when viewed from the ocean
- there were relatively few environmental and heritage impacts and these could be effectively managed.
The government has completed a master plan of the site to identify appropriate land uses within the Browse LNG Precinct.
The Browse LNG Precinct Master Plan
identifies the placement and interaction of plant facilities with key roads, pipeline corridors and the port. The master plan shows that these facilities can be accommodated within a 2,500ha land area, with a further 1,000ha over the sea for the construction of a port.
The Western Australian Government continues to work to complete outstanding approvals in order to ensure the site is ‘project ready’, and is engaging with industry to secure a foundation proponent.