AUSTRALIAN Gas Networks (AGN), formerly known as Envestra, will work on the $19.8 million Bundaberg Port gas pipeline under a deal signed with the Queensland government.

The 28.5 kilometre pipeline will connect West Bundaberg to the Port of Bundaberg, where plasterboard manufacturer Knauf Australia is building a manufacturing facility, to be complete in 2017.

AGN chief operating officer Andrew Staniford said AGN was pleased to be working on the project with the Queensland government, adding that pipe delivery was expected by the end of January.

“A construction contract has been awarded to Zinfra to complete the construction work, and depending on the finish of the wet season, work on the pipeline is expected to start in the first quarter of 2016,” he said.

“The pipeline will have the capacity to deliver a further 0.5 terajoules of gas per day above that required to meet Knauf ’s needs of 1.1 terajoules of gas per day.”

State development minister Anthony Lynham said the $70 million facility would deliver 200 construction jobs and 40 operational jobs on that project, but added that the pipeline would likely create more jobs in the Wide Bay and Burnett regions.

“Construction of the pipeline will create 45 jobs including up to 15 local construction jobs,” he said.

Public consultation is likely to start in the first half of 2016 on the potential for a state development area around the Port of Bundaberg, with these investigations expected to be completed later in 2016.

“Investigations are focusing on the suitability for new industrial development, including consideration of economic opportunities, infrastructure requirements, and potential environmental and community impacts,” he said.