Metgasco's big plans for Casino
METGASCO could have access to 24 trillion cubic feet of gas through the reserves it is exploring in the Northern New South Wales town of Casino.
In a speech titled Unlocking the Potential, the gas firm's chief executive and managing director Peter Henderson dismissed the ongoing skirmishes with the area's vocal anti-coal seam gas campaigners, describing their views as being based on nonsense.
He said with the state giving approval to the project, it expected to first deliver cheap energy to the Casino, Lismore and central Coast regions, even naming a dairy as its first customer to receive gas in 2013.
"We have already signed a deal with Richmond Dairies for local sales," Mr Henderson said.
"The meatworks nearby are very keen to take our gas, which would be very much above export prices but still a good price for the community."
Mr Henderson explained that Metgasco was working closely with farmers to ensure they felt they were scoring a good deal.
"We don't take this for granted - the minute we do the wrong thing on one farmer's land, we will never have a response again."
He named Nimbin, Byron Bay and Lismore as areas where anti-gas campaigners seemed strongest.
"It's based on what we would consider as nonsense," he said.
"We are now running dinners once or twice a month where we have 12 or 13 people and we tell them about coal seam gas."
Now it will focus on "drilling more wells" as it seeks to prove the technique is safe.
"If you see the amount of Lock the Gate signs in Kyogle and Lismore, I expect you don't have the same amount in Tara or Chinchilla (in Queensland).
"Over time we will get that support."