A proposal to build a new pipeline between the approved Narrabri Gas Project and the Hunter Gas Pipeline has been declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI), as it is deemed essential to NSW for economic reasons.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the approximately 50-kilometre-long pipeline was a crucial link needed to connect the Narrabri Gas Project into the east coast gas network.

“The Narrabri project will be vital to securing affordable and reliable gas for more than one million NSW households and thousands of businesses, who rely on natural gas for heating, cooking and power generation,” Mr Perrottet said.

“By getting NSW gas into our system we will provide greater reliability and downward pressure on natural gas and electricity prices.

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“Once up and running Narrabri will be the backbone of our state’s gas needs, supporting our transition to renewable power sources.”

Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts said the pipeline, if approved, would inject up to $90 million into the economy during construction and create up to 200 construction jobs.

“Together, this pipeline, with the initial stages of the Narrabri Gas Project and the Hunter Gas Pipeline, equate to more than $1.5 billion in spending and 1,750 jobs during construction, and 225 operational jobs,” Mr Roberts said.

“The project would enable supply of about 70 petajoules of gas a year to the NSW market via the Hunter Gas Pipeline, which still needs to be constructed once the final route is selected and management plans and studies are done,” he said.

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Santos can now request assessment requirements to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which will be subject to extensive community consultation and a full environmental assessment.