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Investment in resources sector hits record $261 billion
25/05/2012 - Investment in the resources sector has hit a new record and will boost Australia's future supply of key commodities as the nation's commodities boom continues, a new government report shows.
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Committed investment rose to $260.8 billion in the six months to the end of April, up 12 per cent from the prior half year, the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) found.
The total accounts for 98 projects at the advanced stage, including 39 minerals projects, 38 energy projects, 19 infrastructure projects and two mineral processing projects.
Oil and gas, iron ore and coal and related infrastructure accounted for around 95 per cent of committed capital expenditure.
"The continued growth in committed capital expenditure will result in significant increases in Australia's supply capacity of LNG, iron ore and coal," BREE executive Professor Quentin Grafton said as the report was released on Thursday.
Treasurer Wayne Swan said Australia's pipeline of investment in the resources sector continued to go "from strength to strength".
"This is a resounding vote of confidence in the future of our economy and our region and Australia's status as an excellent place to invest," he said in a statement.
Of the $260.8 billion, more than 60 per cent was linked to just seven LNG projects.
When those are complete and operating at full capacity - which is expected in the second half of this decade - Australia will be one of the world's leading LNG exporters.
"The majority of the investment to expand the world's LNG supply capacity is taking place in Australia because of our relatively large gas reserves and proximity to the Asian markets," Prof Grafton said in a statement.
Meanwhile, in the six months to April, 25 resources projects were $23.6 billion were completed.
The outcome was underpinned by the completion of the Pluto LNG project near Karratha in Western Australia at a capital cost of almost $15 billion along with the $3.4 billion expansion to the Worsley Alumina refinery, also in WA.
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