An aerial shot of the Australia Pacific LNG facility on Curtis Island.
An aerial shot of the Australia Pacific LNG facility on Curtis Island.

WORLD LEADING: Biggest year yet for LNG

GLADSTONE is on track to become a world leader as a liquefied natural gas port, after a record-breaking year for the $70 billion Curtis Island facilities.

The three sites at Curtis Island helped Australia surpass Qatar as the world's largest exporter of LNG in 2019.

The achievement was confirmed by analysis of ship tracking data by ­energy consultancy EnergyQuest in its report released this week.

Of the 77.514 million tonnes of LNG shipped internationally from Australia, 22.12 million tonnes, or 29 per cent, were shipped out of Gladstone.

EnergyQuest chief executive Graeme Bethune said Australia edged out former number one export titleholder Qatar, expected to have an output of 75 million tonnes for the year.

It was the biggest year for exports yet from the three ­Curtis Island facilities - Australia Pacific LNG, Queensland Curtis LNG and Gladstone LNG - with 2019 shipments totalling more than two million tonnes above 2018 figures.

Dr Graeme Bethune from EnergyQuest. Supplied
Dr Graeme Bethune from EnergyQuest. Supplied

Gladstone Ports Corporation acting chief executive Craig Walker said Gladstone was on track to become one of the world's largest LNG ports.

Mr Bethune said the Curtis Island projects last year made Queensland the sixth largest LNG producer in the world.

He estimated nationwide LNG export revenue was $49 billion, up from $43 billion in 2018.

Mr Walker said LNG exports out of Gladstone were higher than forecast, and helped propel GPC's annual calendar year trade to a record 123.39 million tonnes.

"We're on the verge of unprecedented opportunity - with globalisation, new energy and new technology," he said.

"As renewable energy is ­expected to continue to show strong growth, GPC is working to ensure Central Queensland is well positioned at the global trade table to service the Emerging 7 of China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, In­donesia and Turkey as the next wave of globalisation hits."

EnergyQuest found Australia Pacific LNG and Queensland Curtis LNG at Curtis Island were operating at close to full capacity last year.