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Australian LNG import terminal declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure

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LNG Industry,

EPIK Co. Ltd. has announced that the Government of New South Wales (NSW) has declared EPIK’s Newcastle GasDock LNG import terminal project as Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI), recognising its key role in the long-term economic future of the region and representing a major milestone for the project.

The Newcastle GasDock project will be located at the Port of Newcastle, which is an industrial hub home to major gas and power users. It is ideally suited to provide competitive gas supply to users in the Hunter Valley, as well as the broader NSW region, fuelling economic growth while driving prices down for all.

Jee Yoon, EPIK’s Founder and Managing Director, said: “We are thrilled by the NSW Government’s decision to award CSSI status to the Newcastle GasDock project.

“EPIK’s primary objective is to deliver the most competitive infrastructure solution for natural gas imports into NSW. With CSSI status in hand, we are a considerable step closer to delivering the critical infrastructure needed to bring new energy to NSW, providing access to long-term, competitive gas supply to the region, safely powering our homes, driving industry forward and keeping prices low for everyone to enjoy.”

According to the statement, the Newcastle GasDock terminal will be able to provide over 80% of NSW’s current gas demand, with the potential to increase throughput as demand requires. EPIK claims that existing domestic gas supply and pipeline constraints compound the need for the Newcastle GasDock terminal in NSW, which currently imports around 95% of its current gas consumption at considerable expense from other States.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said: “We welcome the NSW Government’s support for this important project, which will provide reliable and competitive energy for the Hunter as the region diversifies its economy. Port of Newcastle has been a global trade gateway for more than 220 years and is proud to be diversifying its role as Australia’s leading energy port. Newcastle has much to offer, including a deepwater shipping channel operating at 50% of its capacity, significant port land available and enviable access to national infrastructure such as rail and road. It is Page 2 of 2 pleasing to see EPIK poised to take advantage of the benefits of locating its critical State significant infrastructure project at Port of Newcastle.”

According to the statement, CSSI designation is issued to projects that are considered essential to the State for economic, environmental and social reasons, and sets out a clear pathway to planning approvals, providing greater timeline certainty. Subject to receiving all regulatory and planning approvals, EPIK claims that the project is expected to commence operations in 1H21,and represents a potential direct investment of approximately AUS$250 million in NSW, in addition to the value of the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) to be utilised by the project.

Natural gas remains a crucial baseload provider of electricity in the energy mix, especially as NSW moves away from coal towards a lower-carbon economy. As recently as March this year, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) in its Gas Statement of Opportunities reaffirmed its position that, without further diversification, insufficient gas supply would pose a major challenge to the region.

EPIK Executive Director, James Markham-Hill, said: “We look forward to continuing discussions with major gas and power users throughout the State as they seek long-term, competitive solutions to their gas supply and power needs.”

“We greatly appreciate the support of the NSW Government as we work together, in consultation with the local community, relevant stakeholders, as well as industrial and commercial users, to bring the project to fruition.”

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