Surat Basin set to soar in next five years

THE Surat Basin is set to become one of the state's biggest boom areas, with a report saying the region will scoop up workers from other areas of Queensland where projects are dwindling.

The Major Projects report, released Tuesday morning, lists developments forecasted in the next five years worth more than $100 million.

As a number of projects in Gladstone and the Bowen Basin are nearly fully constructed, the report states demand for skilled construction workers will move away from these regions and into the south-east Queensland region.

The report, which Queensland Major Contractors Association and Construction Skills Queensland released, shows seven major projects in the Surat Basin which are under construction, worth a total $23.1 billion.

These include the five LNG upstream field developments, Kogan Creek Solar Boost electricity project and water treatment facilities.

But there are still more projects to come in the next five years.

Another $3 billion LNG upstream field development, a third train, is expected to be constructed between 2016 and 2023.

A Queensland Curtis LNG brine concentrator, worth $150 million, is also expected to be built between 2016 and 2018, while a $150 million salt handing facility from Australia Pacific LNG is expected to go ahead in 2016-17.

Construction is also expected to start on a $250 million Ironbark gas facility in 2015-16.

The report's author, senior economist Adrian Hart, said work for projects turning coal seam gas into liquefied natural gas was driving the Surat Basin's activity. But he believes there are more possibilities.

"Given the region's significant thermal coal resources (which are expected to remain unrealised for now) there is substantial upside opportunities to the forecast," he said.

"For example, if economic conditions permit the Wandoan Coal Project to proceed, this could start a chain reaction of development as other mines are developed to piggyback on related infrastructure such as the Southern Missing Link rail project."

He said a number of CSG-fired electricity generators were proposed in the region, meaning further upside potential existed.

"However, there is a low probability of this occurring in the next five years given the outlook for electricity demand."

The Major Projects Report also listed a 145km water pipeline from Woleebee Creek to Glebe Weir, worth $430 million.

While funding was allocated for this between 2012 and 2015, the project is still listed as "expected". 



Surat projects under construction:

Kogan Creek Solar Boost $105 million

Queensland Curtis LNG upstream field development $4.7 billion

Gladstone LNG upstream field development $4.5 billion

Australia Pacific LNG upstream field development $6.5 billion

Shell LNG upstream field development $2 billion

Queensland Gas Company water treatment facilities $1.8 billion

Origin water treatment facilities $1.5 billion