The company behind the construction of a gas lateral from Killingworth to Kurri has deposited more than $12million into the state's Biodiversity Conservation Fund to compensate for the project's environmental impacts.
APA, recently commenced construction of the $264million lateral that will connect the Hunter Power Project to the Newcastle to Sydney gas pipeline.
The project's 21 kilometre route includes numerous flora and fauna species, some of which are endangered.
They include several varieties of spotted gum, smooth-barked-apple and swamp oak trees.
Animals include the Gang-gang Cockatoo, the Little Eagle and the square-tailed Kite.
The $12.3million that APA was required to pay as part of the project's approval will be used in various habitat restoration projects across the state.
A company spokeswoman said APA was committed to pursuing a high standard of environmental management and protection across its business.
"A condition of the planning approval for the Kurri Kurri Pipeline required APA to purchase and retire all biodiversity credits prior to clearing native vegetation. As such, APA has fully retired all biodiversity credits through a combination of purchasing offset credits from the biodiversity offset credits market, and by paying into the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Fund," she said.
"The credits that APA purchased were 'like for like' and sourced from stewardship sites in the Hunter region."
The project's pipeline license was granted in September.
APA, which has signed a 30 year agreement for the transport and storage of gas to the plant, said the gas pipeline was on track to be delivered in time for the completion of the power plant.
It is estimated about 400 people will be employed during the pipeline's construction.
APA is also building an associated 70 terajoule gas storage facility in addition to the pipeline.
While the Hunter Power Project will primarily run on gas, it will have a diesel backup.
Snowy Hydro recently revealed the cost of the project had blown out by almost 40 per cent to $950 million, Snowy Hydro has confirmed.
The project had a $600 million price tag when it was announced by former Prime Minister Scott Morrision in September 2020.
The 660-megawatt generator was initially due to come online this year to help compensate for the closure of Liddell Power Station.
However, delays and ongoing cost increases mean it will not open until late 2024.
"The Hunter Power Project is an important project in Australia's energy transition, enabling the roll-out of wind and solar projects by firming these intermittent generation sources into reliable power," Snowy chief executive Dennis Barnes said.
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