Richmond hails $12m gas plant

By RACHEL SCOLLAY

RICHMOND Valley Council has welcomed the announcement of a proposed $12 million gas power plant near Casino.

It has predicted that the plant will attract similar light industry to the town.

Director of development and environmental services, Ken Exley, said it would be a great advantage for the residents of the Richmond Valley having 'that sort of resource' on their doorstep.

"Whether it's through development of like industries, manufacturing facilities, or whether it's purchasing the product," he said.

"And employment will be a big thing."

With its population projected to increase from 10,000 to 14,000 in the next 20 years, Casino needed to be supported by an economic base, Mr Exley said.

So the council was encouraging industry to the area.

Metgasco had met council staff four or five times outlining details of its exploration and he was expecting to re- ceive a development application for above-ground operations within the first half of next year.

Mr Exley said the 800 sq.km site of exploration was in the Ellangowan area.

"It's a whole big basin," he said.

"The drilling has been occuring for some time, but they've just discovered the value of it.

"Most of the land is privately-owned."

Meanwhile, community relations manager for Country Energy, Lynne O'Dwyer, confirmed they had an agreement with Metgasco to look at purchasing power, if and when the Casino plant went on-line.

"We're always looking for environmentally-friendly energy sources," she said.



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