THE Queensland Government has entered into a development agreement with Australian Gas Networks for delivery and operation of the 28.5 kilometre Bundaberg Port Gas Pipeline.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said work would start on the 19.8 million pipeline in the first quarter of the New Year.
"Construction of the pipeline will create 45 jobs including up to 15 local construction jobs," he said.
"Further, the pipeline will support the development of the new $70 million Knauf Plasterboard facility which is expected to deliver 200 construction jobs and 40 operational jobs."
AGN's Chief Operating Officer, Mr Andrew Staniford, said: "AGN is very pleased to be involved with the Queensland Government in this project which will deliver significant economic benefits to the Bundaberg region.
"Preliminary work is already underway and pipe delivery is expected by the end of January," he said.
"A construction contract has been awarded to Zinfra to complete the construction work, and depending on the finish of the wet season, work on the pipeline is expected to start in the first quarter of 2016.
"The pipeline will have the capacity to deliver a further 0.5 terajoules of gas per day above that required to meet Knauf's needs of 1.1 terajoules of gas per day.
"The natural gas supply this pipeline will deliver has the potential to fuel new business and industry, and create further new jobs for the Wide Bay Burnett area."
Dr Lynham said pipeline was expected to be operational in early 2017 and would be the catalyst for further job creation in the Wide Bay and Burnett.
Public consultation is likely to start in the first half of 2016 on the potential for a State Development Area around the Port of Bundaberg.
"The investigations are expected to be completed later in 2016, "he said.
"Investigations are focusing on the suitability for new industrial development, including consideration of economic opportunities, infrastructure requirements, and potential environmental and community impacts," he said.