Metgasco plans to activate its Casino gas project and Richmond Valley power plant in the first half of next year.
The company’s CEO Peter Henderson made the bold announcement at Metgasco’s AGM in Sydney on Thursday.
A production licence for the projects was awarded in September 2012 by then energy minister Chris Hartcher, who was later sacked after being disgraced by ICAC on other matters.
The company has never received the paperwork for the approval, however, despite Mr Henderson telling the AGM it had paid the $100,000 fee.
In his presentation Mr Henderson stated that a condition of the licence was that the work commenced in 2015 and the company was pressing the government to finalise the issue of the licence so that it could commence work.
Gasfield Free Northern Rivers spokesperson, Dean Draper, attended Thursday’s meeting, which he described as ‘downbeat’.
‘It was very low key, they were quite depressed and seem to be lacking confidence,’ Mr Draper told Echonetdaily, adding ‘they blamed the government for a lot of their problems’.
‘Both the CEO and chairman [Leonard Gill] said the [state] government had let them down and they were very disappointed,’ he said.
‘There was some talk about about divesting from the area and some of the shareholders split up and talked about investing outside the northern rivers because it was “so difficult to make headway” in the region.
‘They think that the finding in their court case against the government’s suspension of their licence will be handed down before Christmas and are quietly confident they will get a win. If they don’t win they will be suing the government for compensation,’ Mr Draper said.