THE MORRISON government is seeking to “turbo charge” investment in resources by broadening the scope of projects eligible for funding under the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
The government NAIF fund has already provided $2.4 billion in financing for major projects across the Top End. Projects include Kalium Lakes' gas plant and lateral gas pipeline, and $37 million for Merricks Capital's Hudson Creek P12 MW gas power Station in Darwin.
It has also helped finance Genex Energy's pumped hydro project in northern Queensland and some solar and wind renewables projects. Its largest single finance in the energy sector is worth $500 million.
Under new plans announced on Wednesday, the NAIF will be expanded to encourage new investment in oil and gas, among other industries.
"The reforms to NAIF will ensure the $5 billion facility will have more flexibility to bankroll investment in a wider range of projects across Northern Australia," minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said in a statement.
"We have listened to stakeholders in the north, and are making changes to the NAIF, more flexibility will help drive economic recovery and population growth."
Eligibility was previously restricted to funding for physical construction works only. This will now be scrapped to allow proponents to apply for funds including equipment purchases, training, and general expansion of existing business operations.
The government said it would ensure the NAIF could "take a more holistic approach" to supporting economic growth.
Source: Energy News Bulletin
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