Court dismisses environmental challenge against Woodside

Pluto Train 2 (Woodside challenge)
Pluto Train 2 (Image: Jarrad Seng)

The Supreme Court of Western Australia has dismissed the two proceedings brought against the Chairman of the Environmental Protection Authority challenging the Pluto LNG and Karratha Gas Plant environmental approvals made in 2019.

The proceedings were commenced by the Conservation Council of Western Australia (CCWA), which launched a second Supreme Court challenge relating to the WA government’s issue of a Works Approval for the expansion of the Pluto LNG development to allow processing of gas from the Scarborough field.

The challenge was the second to be launched in the Supreme Court of WA relating to the project.

“Woodside welcomes the Court’s decisions and continues to progress the Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 projects and the start-up of the Pluto-KGP Interconnector,” Woodside said in a statement.

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“Woodside announced on November 30, 2021, that CCWA had commenced separate Supreme Court proceedings challenging the Pluto Train 2 project works approval. A hearing date is yet to be set.”

The expansion of the Pluto LNG processing facility on the Burrup Peninsula is a critical part of Woodside’s plans to unlock gas contained in the offshore Scarborough gas field. It would more than double the annual greenhouse gas emissions from the Pluto facility and extend the operating life of the facility by several decades.

The Scarborough development has been widely criticised by campaigners as one of Australia’s most polluting fossil fuel proposals, saying the development would emit a total of 1.6 billion tonnes of CO2—the equivalent of 15 coal-fired power stations—over its lifetime.

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