New investment to support development of $4.3bn Karratha Urea Project

Monica Gameng   |   February 13, 2022
Karratha Urea Project (cr: Clough)

The Australian Government is supporting the development of the $4.3 billion Perdaman Urea Project in Western Australia through a $255 million funding investment from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF). 

This significant investment will help deliver upgrades to common-user infrastructure that will support the production of urea – a widely used form of fertiliser utilised in food production. 

“Australian currently imports around 2.4 million tonnes a year of urea for agricultural use, and the Perdaman project will have the capacity to meet 96 per cent of that volume. 

“The NAIF’s investment will provide farmers’ access to locally manufactured fertiliser, securing our agricultural production and boosting our exports,” Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud MP said. 

The NAIF funding is broken down into two loans: 

  • $160 million to the Pilbara Port Authority for a new multi-user wharf and facilities at the Port of Dampier to facilitate exports 
  • $95 million to the Western Australia Water Corporation for the expansion of the Burrup seawater supply and brine disposal scheme that will also service the operation of Perdaman Urea Plant 

“The development of a new multi-user wharf at the Port of Dampier will maximise the use of this important piece of infrastructure by facilitating the Perdaman Urea Project, as well as accommodating bulk carriers, cruise ships, and general cargo vessels,” Ports Minister Rita Saffioti said. 

“With additional financial support from the WA Government, the Water Corporation will use the $95 million NAIF load to expand the Burrup seawater supply and brine disposal scheme, which will also service the operation of the Perdaman Urea Plant,” Water Minister Dave Kelly said. 

The loans build on the State Government’s commitment to the project which includes a $47.6 million investment in road relocation, the detailed design of a new Dampier Cargo Wharf as well as seawater supply infrastructure upgrades. 

“Recent international supply chain issues have highlighted just how important urea is to industry sectors such as agriculture and transport. 

“Western Australia has the potential to supply these sectors with the urea they need. 

“As the first new gas manufacturing project in the Pilbara for more than a decade, the Perdaman Urea Project will play a role in helping diversify Western Australia’s economy and create local jobs,” State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook said. 

Any financial contribution from the Western Australian Government is subject to several condition, including financial close for the project and the granting of all statutory and regulatory approvals. 

The Perdaman Urea Project is anticipated to generate up to 2,500 jobs during its construction and a further 200 jobs once operational. 

“The Perdaman Urea Project is a great development for the Pilbara, particularly as it will deliver around 200 locally-based, ongoing quality jobs – strengthening the region’s economy into the future. 

“We have backed this project also because it develops our manufacturing capabilities and because of its commitment to working closely with Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation,” Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said. 

The Perdaman Urea Project is located 20 kilometres north-west of Karratha. The plant is going to be utilised to convert Western Australian liquefied natural gas into approximately two million tonnes of urea annually. 

The Clough-Saipem joint venture was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the multi-billion-dollar project. You can read more about the contract award here. 

Source: Government of Western Australia – Media Statements; Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility; Australian Mining; Roads & Infrastructure Australia; Grain Central 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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