THE NT Government and Ichthys LNG Project operator INPEX have reached an agreement that could extend the Japanese company’s activities in the Top Eend.

During a recent visit to Japan, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner INPEX’s representative director president and CEO Toshiaki Kitamura and signed two important agreements.

“Significantly, INPEX further demonstrated its commitment to strengthening the working relationship with the Territory by formally signing two important agreements supporting local jobs and economic growth,” Chief Minister Gunner said.

Mr Gunner said that both the Recognition of and Recommitment to Industry Participation and the Optional Development Lease agreements presented opportunities for Territory business and jobs.

“The NT Government’s priority is to create more Territory jobs which will build confidence in our economy and attract more investment,” Mr Gunner said.

“The Ichthys LNG Project has at least a 40-year life and today’s agreement means there will be ongoing opportunities for Territory businesses during the plant’s operations.

“During the construction phase, more than 1,000 Territory businesses have secured work on the project.”

More than $9 billion in contracts, procurement and overhead commitments have been made within the Northern Territory.

More than 8,000 people are working at Bladin Point during this final period of construction as the focus shifts to testing and commissioning works to prepare the facilities for the next 40-years of operations.

Further supporting future development in the Northern Territory, the Optional Development Lease (ODL) extension signed today, provides certainty for INPEX and its potential to grow its LNG business in the Northern Territory.

The extension of the lease creates a pathway for INPEX to make potential future investment in the Territory to develop additional LNG processing capacity; and in turn, positive business and employment outcomes.