Australian oil & gas construction, maintenance and fabrication firm AusGroup has received notification from the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NTEPA) that it does not require assessment of its Port Melville deepsea port under the Environmental Assessment Act.
The Port Melville project, on the Tiwi Islands off Darwin, is located in a wildlife area and was commissioned without any formal environmental impact assessments from either the state or federal governments, drawing the ire of environmentalists.
Gerard Hutchinson, AusGroup managing director, said: “This is a welcome development and we are committed to carefully consider the environmentally sensitive location of Port Melville and the potential impacts that any work may have on the Island. In consultation with the Tiwi people, we will ensure the Port complies with any environmental policies and work to mitigate any environmental risks.”
AusGroup took over ownership of the port when it acquired Ezion Holdings subsidiary Ezion Offshore Logistics Hub and its 90% stake in Teras Australia for S$55m ($41.4m). Teras Australia had entered into a 50-year lease agreement with Tiwi in 2012 for the construction and development of the port and its associated fuel distribution facilities.