Woodside’s Pluto 2 LNG train can still come off the rails
SYDNEY, Aug 24 2022 - Woodside has broken ground on a second LNG train at its Pluto gas processing facility on the Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia but the company’s plans are far from on track, with Woodside facing two legal challenges and still lacking crucial environmental approvals, Greenpeace Australia Pacific says.
Pluto Train 2 will be the second train at Woodside Energy’s existing Pluto LNG onshore facility and will process gas from the controversial Scarborough development.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific Head of Clean Transitions, Jess Panegyres said Woodside’s Burrup Hub still has a number of key approvals and legal challenges to clear.
“Despite construction starting on the Pluto LNG train, Woodside’s controversial Burrup Hub – including the Scarborough project – is uncertain and mired in legal risk. Woodside is currently facing two separate legal challenges to its Scarborough-Pluto 2 project and still needs four environmental approvals from the offshore oil and gas regulator, NOPSEMA, for Scarborough to proceed” she said.
“Woodside’s bullish public confidence is not grounded in climate reality, and there’s still every chance that the Scarborough project, and the rest of the Burrup Hub, will be brought undone by a failure to win approvals. There is nothing to indicate that Woodside’s outstanding approvals are forthcoming, and there is growing domestic and international environmental and investor pressure on Woodside around its aggressive gas expansion plans, which are incompatible with global climate goals.”
“The Burrup Hub is the most polluting fossil fuel project proposed in Australia, and will contribute to a more dangerous climate, undermine federal plans to decarbonise the economy and become a stranded asset as demand for gas wanes as the world transitions away from fossil fuels to clean energy.”
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), represented by the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) is challenging Woodside’s Scarborough project in the Federal Court, alleging that carbon emissions from the gas project will damage the already vulnerable Great Barrier Reef.
In a separate legal challenge, the Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is arguing that the Western Australian Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) decision to approve construction of Pluto Train 2 was unlawful because pollution and environmental harm from greenhouse gas emissions were not given proper consideration.
Woodside has not received the four essential Environment Plan approvals required for Scarborough to proceed from the federal offshore oil and gas regulator NOPSEMA. These relate to (1) seismic testing (2) drilling and completions (3) trunkline installation and (4) production.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Campaigner, Martin Zavan
0424 295 422