The INPEX-led Ichthys LNG Project has signed a $3 million agreement that will underpin Charles Darwin University’s North Australian Centre for Oil and Gas during a signing ceremony in Tokyo.
The $6 million Centre to be located at CDU’s Casuarina campus will be at the forefront of oil and gas training and education, offering school leavers, tradespeople and apprentices pathways into the growing energy sector.
Speaking on behalf of Ichthys joint venture participants INPEX and Total, INPEX Australia President Director Australia Seiya Ito said the funding is a demonstrable commitment by the Ichthys LNG Project to growing a sustainable workforce in Northern Australia.
“Ichthys is a world class LNG project and we want to ensure it contributes lasting benefits to the Territory,” Mr Ito said.
“The Ichthys joint venture is proud to invest in the Centre which will be pivotal in up-skilling and growing the local workforce – it’s about sustainability.”
As operator of the Ichthys LNG Project, INPEX recognises the Australian Government’s desire that resource projects become more closely involved with educational institutions.
“While CDU is a relatively young institution, we are impressed that it has taken this visionary step towards helping to develop a sustainable workforce for the resources sector in Northern Australia.
“This is the second centre of its kind in the nation and with Australia on its way to achieving its goal of becoming the largest exporter of LNG by 2020, there is no question that the Territory is well positioned as a burgeoning player in securing the energy future of Asia and the rest of the world” he said.
CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover acknowledged the substantial contribution from the Ichthys LNG Project and said the university was focused on establishing itself as a specialised provider for high quality training in the oil and gas industry.
“This is all part of a long-term plan in enabling Territorians to develop their skills and give them the advantage in securing future workforce opportunities in the resource industry,” Professor Glover said.
“The Centre will also progress world class research into new areas of process engineering and process operations, and maintenance and asset management.”
Construction of the North Australian Centre for Oil and Gas is currently underway with the main building expected to be complete by late September and operational by the end of the 2012.