Planning approval has been granted to the $250 million Port Kembla Gas Terminal project, which is expected to boost the local economy and drive down the cost of living across New South Wales through lower energy bills.

Announcing the news, deputy premier John Barilaro said the new terminal will help the state achieve energy self-sufficiency and also create greater access to the global gas market.

By potentially lowering household gas bills in the future, the terminal will help ease the burden of the rising cost of living.

Observing that NSW currently relies on interstate sources for 95 per cent of its gas supply, minister for planning Rob Stokes said the vital terminal project will help the state achieve energy security.

After the project was granted Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) status last year, the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) took it forward for a rigorous but timely assessment. Stokes added that the enhanced gas supply capacity of the terminal will help relieve gas price pressure for families and businesses across the state.

Minister for energy and environment Matt Kean described the Port Kembla Gas Terminal project as a game-changer for improving energy security and helping ease energy costs.

More than 33,000 NSW businesses and a million households using natural gas will benefit from the project as the terminal will have the capability to meet 70 percent of the state’s annual gas demand while also reducing energy bills for consumers.

Kean noted that gas-fired electricity generation in NSW facilitated by the terminal will ensure reliable electricity supply even in the absence of solar or wind power.

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward says the terminal would be a major economic boost for the local economy by creating 150 jobs during construction and up to 50 when operational. The project also supports diversification, future growth and employment in Port Kembla and the Illawarra-Shoalhaven region, in line with the NSW Government’s strategic plans for these areas, he added.

Stuart Johnston, CEO of Squadron Energy, which is involved in the development of the project, said the Port Kembla Gas Terminal presented a real opportunity for NSW to take control of its gas supply challenges by introducing significant new and competitively priced supply directly into the heart of the Illawarra industrial region.

Australian Industrial Energy (AIE) will construct a new berth at Port Kembla to accommodate Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carriers, a floating LNG handling facility, wharf infrastructure and a pipeline to connect to the existing NSW east coast gas network in the vicinity.