The Northern Territory government has granted a construction license for the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP).

Jemena is the company that has been selected by the NT government to build, own and operate the NGP. Construction of the project – which will stretch 622 kilometres between Tennant Creek and Mount Isa in Queensland – is scheduled to commence this year, with a view to operation in 2018.

Jemena says the project will play a crucial role in solving Australia’s gas supply crisis. The pipeline will eventually deliver gas to Australia’s east coast.

“The NGP continues to be the cheapest and most direct route to deliver gas to where it is needed most and is the sensible choice in responding to the east-coast gas crunch,” says Jemena’s project director, Jonathan Spink.

Spink said that Jemena would soon be able to scale the NGP to deliver up to or beyond 700TJ of gas per day to the east coast.

The Northern Territory resources minister, Ken Vowles, said that a thorough assessment has been undertaken into the environmental impact and management of the NGP, including an independent review.

In order to win government approval, Jemena addressed eight recommendations made by the independent NT Environmental Protection Authority as well as recommendations made by the Commonwealth environmental regulator.

“Jemena is also well-progressed on a feasibility assessment to expand and extend the NGP to [the] Wallumbilla gas hub [in Queensland],” said Spink.