A $590 million liquefied gas import terminal for the Port of Newcastle has been given "critical state significance" status as the NSW government moves to secure the state's energy supplies.
Planning Minister Rob Stokes has described the project as "critical state significant infrastructure", making it essential for economic, social and environmental reasons, The Sydney Morning Herald reports on Wednesday.
"NSW currently relies on interstate sources for 95 per cent of our gas supply and experts predict a shortfall in supply from existing sources in the coming years," Mr Stokes said.
The move comes as the Liddell power station closes, with Nationals leader and acting premier John Barilaro describing the new terminal, to be built at Kooragang Island in Newcastle Port, as helping to manage the state's energy security.
The terminal which would connect to the existing gas network, would supply NSW with up to 80 per cent of its gas requirements and be operational by 2022/23.
Newcastle GasDock Company will submit an environmental impact statement for the project, with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment making a recommendation after public submissions, and Mr Stokes making a final determination.
Australian Associated Press