Mills turns up heat on gas pipeline progress

Chief Minister Terry Mills is calling on the Commonwealth Government to commit to underwriting a gas pipeline to Gove.

After months of negotiations, the Northern Territory Government is allowing mining giant Rio Tinto to use domestic-contracted gas supplies to ensure the future of the Gove alumina refinery, about 900 kilometres east of Darwin.

But the success of the operation depends on the construction of a $500 million pipeline to the refinery, which is operated by Rio Tinto subsidiary Pacific Aluminium.

The construction of the pipeline would be part of a $1.2 billion project to convert the refinery from diesel power to gas.

Mr Mills, who is in Nhulunbuy today to speak to the local community, says it is time for the Federal Government to step up.

"We need the Commonwealth to do that part they said they would do and underwrite that pipeline," he said.

"We have done our bit.

"That assurance that I have had from (federal Resources and Energy Minister) Martin Ferguson ...

we now need to see that substantiated."

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