Date    2 April 2001
Number  31/01


BHP Limited (BHP) today announced approval for a fourth train expansion of
the liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing facilities at the North West Shelf
Project on the Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia.

The approval covers a liquefaction processing train with a capacity of 4.2
million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and a 42 inch gas trunkline to be installed
over a distance of 135 kilometres from the existing production platforms to
the Burrup Peninsula. The gross investment is A$2.4 billion with a BHP share
of approximately A$400 million. The pipeline is subject to a later final
endorsement by all the joint venture participants.

An additional LNG ship with a capacity of approximately 135,000 cubic metres
has also been ordered from the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co.
to deliver volume associated with the expansion project.

The expansion is an integral and material component of BHP's gas
commercialisation strategy. President BHP Petroleum Philip Aiken said:
"This is a significant day for BHP, venture participants, the customers,
the suppliers and for Australia.  We look forward to the completion of the
project and to an enhancement of Australia's already important role in
supplying gas to Asian markets.

The commitment to this investment highlights the competitiveness and
attractiveness of LNG supplies from Australia. It is a very positive signal
for the future and we will be continuing our efforts to enhance further gas
sales from the area," Mr Aiken said.

Construction will commence later this year and first production is expected
in mid 2004. BHP, together with the other participants in the North West
Shelf have sales arrangements in place with Tokyo Gas Co Ltd, Osaka Gas Co
Ltd, Toho Gas Co Ltd, Tohoku Electric Power Company Ltd and Kyushu Electric
Power Co, of Japan, for the supply of gas for periods up to 30 years and
totaling 2.9 mtpa.  It is expected that those arrangements will be finalised
over coming months and discussions are at an advanced stage with other
customers to bring the total sales to around 4 mtpa.

The six equal participants in the North West Shelf Venture are: BHP 16.67%;
Woodside Energy Ltd (operator)      16.67%; BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd
16.67%; Chevron Australia Pty Ltd 16.67%; Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd
16.67%; Shell Development (Australia) Proprietary Limited 16.67%.

Further information can be found on our Internet site:

North West Shelf Map attached (Acrobat .pdf)



Mandy Frostick
Manager Media Relations
Ph:  61 3 9609 4157
Mob: 61 419 546 245

Dr Robert Porter
Vice President Investor Relations
Ph:  61 3 9609 3540
Mob: 61 419 587 456

Francis McAllister
Vice President Investor Relations
Houston (North America)
Ph:  713  961 8625