Brookfield pulls out of Woodside Scarborough development

Gas plant at Scarborough nearshore (Brookfield)

Canadian infrastructure and investment giant Brookfield has abandoned its plans to invest in the controversial Woodside Scarborough gas development on Western Australia’s Burrup Peninsula.

According to the Australian Financial Review, Brookfield, which was recently reported to be first in line for a 49 per cent stake in the development, has pulled out of the race, telling its funding banks to ‘stand down’ from an expected multi-billion-dollar bid.

The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) has welcomed the news after urging Woodside’s investors and buyers for Scarborough to reconsider their involvement in order to meet global emissions obligations under the Paris Agreement.

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Woodside’s Scarborough project has been widely criticised by campaigners for the 6.1 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions it will release over the next 25 years—the equivalent of 15 coal-fired power stations.

Concerns have also been raised over the detrimental impact of gas production on nearby UNESCO World Heritage shortlisted Aboriginal heritage, with acid gas and acid rain from existing production already causing irreversible damage to 40,000 year-old petroglyphs in the area.

In September, CCWA—alongside the likes of Greenpeace, Market Forces, Sea Shepherd and 350—wrote to Brookfield, urging executives to abandon investment in Woodside’s Scarborough development.

Brookfield did not respond to the letter directly and has not commented publicly on its involvement in the development.