On 28 December, 2021, the Minister for Planning requested that Viva Energy prepare an Environment Effects Statement (EES) to assess the potential environmental effects of the proposed Gas Terminal Project.
An EES including 16 Technical Reports addressing the potential environmental effects of the project was prepared for public exhibition between 28 February, 2022, and 11 April, 2022.
The Minister for Planning appointed a joint Inquiry and Advisory Committee (IAC) to advise on the EES, draft Planning Scheme Amendment, Environment Protection Authority development licence applications and public submissions on the proposed Viva Energy Gas Terminal project.
The IAC conducted a public hearing into the EES from 20 June, 2022, to 8 August, 2022, and submitted its report to the Planning Minister on 5 October, 2022.
On 6 March, 2023, the Minister for Planning requested a Supplementary Environment Effects Statement to provide additional information about the project’s potential impacts on the marine environment, air quality, noise and cultural heritage.
More information on the Viva Energy Gas Terminal Project Environment Effects Statement and the IAC report is on the Department of Transport and Planning.
The objectives of the study program into Marine Environment, including Threatened Migratory Birds, for the Supplementary Statement are:
- Better establish the existing environment and the impacts of existing wastewater discharges from the refinery;
- Refine regional hydrodynamic model and re-run modelling;
- Confirm EES conclusions and/or update findings based on revised modelling;
- Develop a consolidated and comprehensive list of threatened and migratory bird species;
- Establish the extent to which the project would impact important wider habitat for shorebirds; and,
- Integrate the results of the modelling undertaken as part of the supplementary marine environment study.
The objective of the Air Quality study program for the Supplementary Statement is to:
- Confirm that operational impacts on air quality would be acceptable.
The objectives of the Noise study program for the Supplementary Statement are:
- Determine background noise levels without the inclusion of noise from the Refinery and from other commercial, industrial and trade premises;
- Determine pre-existing noise from commercial, industrial and trade premises including the Refinery; and,
- Establish and justify Project Noise Criteria to ensure cumulative impacts do not exceed regulatory noise limits.
The objectives of the Cultural Heritage study program for the Supplementary Statement are:
- Undertake an underwater Aboriginal cultural archaeological assessment for the proposed dredging area; and,
- Identify intangible values relevant to the project area.
The proposed Gas Terminal would provide a flexible supply of gas as local gas supplies decline.
Technical Reference Group Established
Mid 2023 – Early 2024
The Gas Terminal would be highly regulated, and a number of approvals would be required before start-up, including:
- EPA development and operating licences under the Environment Protection Act 2017;
- An approved cultural heritage management plan under the Aboriginal Heritage Act, 2006;
- Consent under the Marine and Coastal Act 2018 for works on marine and coastal Crown land;
- Major Hazard Facility (MHF) safety case for the FSRU and amendment to the current refinery MHF safety case under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004;
- Gas Safety Case under the Gas Safety Act 1997;
- Pipeline Licence under the Pipelines Act 2005;
- Planning Scheme Amendment under the Planning and Environment Act 1987; and,
- Approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The decision-makers must consider the Minister’s Assessment in deciding whether to approve a project under Victorian law or to authorise public works.
Safety and LNG
LNG is safely transported around the world in specially designed ships that feature a comprehensive range of safety equipment.
Viva Energy will minimise greenhouse gas emissions from the proposed Gas Terminal as far as is reasonably practical and would purchase certified carbon offsets for Scope 1 and 2 emissions directly related to the construction and operation of the terminal.