The Federal Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has committed to invest $255 million in Western Australia’s Perdaman project, a $4.3 billion proposed fertiliser plant tipped to produce two million tonnes of urea per year.
Located 20 kilometres north-west of Karratha in WA, the proposed plant will convert liquefied natural gas into urea, a widely used form of fertiliser for food production.
NAIF is a Commonwealth Government entity established to facilitate economic and population growth in northern Australia through financing infrastructure projects and businesses to promote private sector investment.
This marks the first-ever NAIF investment into WA Government entities, with the commitment consisting of two loans.
The first of the two loans includes $160 million to the Pilbara Ports Authority for a new multi-user wharf and facilities at the Port of Dampier.
The second includes $95 million to the Water Corporation for the expansion of the Burrup seawater supply and brine disposal scheme that will connect to the Perdaman Urea Plant once built.
This follows Perdaman Industries (Chemical & Fertilisers) signing a binding Heads of Agreement for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) work for the project, with 50/50 joint venture between Clough of Western Australia and Saipem of Italy.
Perdaman is a multinational group based in Western Australia, which has a track record in involvement within a range of markets, including investments in fertiliser production and management of shopping centres and community hubs.
Perdaman believes that the urea project will generate more than $850 million per annum in export earnings for Western Australia.
Perdaman also expect the project to support on average around 2500 jobs during the three-year construction phase, with another 200 ongoing operational jobs.
The NAIF loans build on WA Government’s support for the project, which has provided $47.6 million for road relocation costs, the detailed design of a new Dampier Cargo Wharf and upgrades to seawater supply infrastructure.
Ports Minister Rita Saffioti said the project would boost the infrastructure capabilities of the region.
“The development of a new multi-user wharf at the Port of Dampier will maximise the use of this important piece of infrastructure by facilitating the Perdaman Urea Project, as well as accommodating bulk carriers, cruise ships, and general cargo vessels,” Saffioti said.
“This investment in the new wharf will also encourage trade diversification by opening up access to worldwide markets for urea from the Perdaman Project.”