Nicole Manison, the Deputy Chief Minister of Northern Territory, one of the seven states of Australia, today wrapped up her week-long visit to India whose purpose was to learn about India and familiarise Indians with the potential of the state.
“Not many people (in India) know about Northern Territory, and that is our fault,” Manison told journalists here, adding that in her interactions in Chennai, she explored the possibility of exporting LNG from her state to India. She has met Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd in this connection.
With a population of 250,000 people in an area of 1.42 million sq km, the Northern Territory is about five times the size of Uttar Pradesh, with a tenth of the population. It is rich in natural resources, including natural gas and critical minerals. Being a northern state, it is “at the doorstep of Asia.”
It has 30 TCF of proven natural gas reserves yet to be developed, which explains its keenness to tap the Indian market. Aware that the Ennore LNG importation terminal of the Indian Oil Corporation is under-utilised, Manison is exploring the possibility of selling the gas to India.
Further, the state has vast land resources and “fantastic solar irradiance” and water and is, therefore, the place for producing green hydrogen. “In all of my conversations here today in Chennai, green hydrogen has been a big part,” Manison, who is also Minister for Northern Australia and Trade, Minister for Mining and Industry, Minister for Tourism and Hospitality, Minister for Advanced Manufacturing and Minister for Parks and Rangers, said.
Manison, who has also visited Mumbai and Kerala, said the Northern Territory would like to invite Indian nurses to work in her state. “They are doing an amazing job,” she observed.
The minister noted that the Northern Territory had fallen behind other Australian states like Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia in terms of business ties with India. The state is keen to make amends, as part of which it wants to make itself better known in India.
Speaking about the strengths of Northern Territory Manison said that the state had several critical minerals, including cobalt, gallium, germanium, niobium and scandium. The state welcomes Indian investments in mining these minerals.
Sub-sea cable link to Singapore
The world’s biggest solar farm is coming up in the Barkly region of Northern Territory, on a 12,000-hectare (30,000 acres) land. The electricity, after meeting the needs of Darwin city is to be transmitted to Singapore, through a 4,300-km undersea cable. The $19b project will supply Australian energy to ASEAN.
An Australian company called Equatorial Launch has built a rocket launching station, Arnhem Space Center, at Nhulunbuy, 12 degrees south of the equator (same as Sriharikota in the north). Equatorial Launch is offering rocket launching services.