Billionaire Andrew Forrest now owns 100 per cent of Australian Industrial Energy (AIE).

One of Mr Forrest’s firms, Squadron Energy, has bought out Japanese joint venture partners JERA and Marubeni from the Port Kembla LNG terminal.

AIE has been developing the Port Kembla liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, and says it now plans to accelerate the development of New South Wales project.

The company wants to expedite development of the gas import terminal, aiming to have the capacity to supply 70 per cent of New South Wale’s gas needs by late 2022.

“JERA and Marubeni have been excellent partners and have both indicated they remain open to future opportunities for targeted involvement in the AIE Port Kembla gas terminal project, including LNG procurement, and the development of an associated gas-fired power station,” Squadron chairman Michael Masterman said.

AIE says the Port Kembla project could create up to 150 jobs during construction and between 40 and 50 ongoing roles.

The NSW Government gave development consent to the project in April 2019, with a modification to the original development consent approved in April 2020.

The modification allows greater operational flexibility and should let it satisfy the market’s need for more gas during cooler months.