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<LNUpdated January 24, 2012 14:58:37

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) proponent says its massive gas project off Gladstone, in central Queensland, will create about 9,000 jobs during construction.

Chinese firm Sinopec has signed an agreement to boost its stake in the Australia Pacific (AP) project in Gladstone from 15 to 25 per cent.

The deal is subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board and includes a contract to buy an extra 66 million tonnes of LNG over 20 years.

APLNG's chief executive Page Maxson says thousands of workers are needed to construct its massive gas transmission pipeline and its plant on Curtis Island.

"Over the longer term, the gas fields development will continue for another 20 years or so and so you'll see a lot of those jobs, that continue on, probably 1,500 to 2,000 jobs relating to construction through that time," she said.

Energy analyst Graeme Bethune says the future of the LNG sector in Australia will remain strong for the next 30 years or more.

"Because we've got eight projects under construction now, those projects all have off-take contracts from buyers," he said.

"So that's a huge amount of LNG under construction and guaranteed.

"Overall, Australia has got a substantial amount of gas, both on the east coast and also on the west coast, so there certainly should be enough for our own domestic needs as well.">
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