POWER company AGL says it lost about $108 million because of its failed bid for a gas import terminal at Crib Point.
In a statement released to the Australian Stock Exchange last week AGL said it had estimated it would spend $130 million on the project, with $22 million being “expensed” so far.
“As a result, AGL expects to recognise a pre-tax loss of up to $108 million as a significant item in its FY21 financial statements,” the statement said.
“Engagement with the community and relevant parties has been integral to this process and AGL thanks those involved for their participation.”
The Save Westernport community which led opposition to the proposed floating gas terminal said it was “absolutely delighted that … AGL finally told the truth about their plans for Crib Point, announcing that their gas factory will not be going ahead”.
The plan was knocked back on environmental grounds by the state government in March, which led to AGL abandoning the project (“AGL withdraws request for federal approval” The News 3/5/21).
AGL’s statement in early May confirmed it would “cease any further development of the proposed liquified natural gas (LNG) import jetty at Crib Point”.
“This follows the Independent Advisory Committee (IAC) findings and the Victorian Planning Minister’s determination on 30 March 2021 that the project would have unacceptable environmental effects.
“AGL takes its environmental obligations seriously and works cooperatively with all regulatory agencies to ensure we meet all regulatory requirements and engage with the communities where we operate, so as to respond to their concerns.”
AGL said it had “recognised” the opportunity at Crib Point “and the environmental standards we needed to meet in a location of this kind” and had “presented a scientifically sound case … which demonstrated that the potential environmental effects were manageable”.
AGL said its “highly flexible gas portfolio and a supply strategy” would enable it to meet customer demand “from existing and new domestic supply sources and proposed third party regasification projects, leveraging LNG supply options developed for the Crib Point gas Import terminal project”.
When announcing his decision against AGL’s proposal on 30 March, Planning Minister Richard Wynne said it was very clear “that this project would cause unacceptable impacts on the Western Port environment and the Ramsar wetlands – it’s important that these areas are protected”.
More than 400 people attended “exuberant celebrations” organised by Save Westernport two days before AGL’s statement was issued.
The group issued a statement saying the celebration at Balnarring “marked the final chapter in the monumental campaign which many thought we’d never win, but were able to, by demonstrating that when many communities, groups and individuals are moved enough and work together, Goliath can be beaten”.