Missing gas pipeline link complete
Tightening conditions across Australia’s east coast gas market will be partially alleviated following completion of Jemena’s Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP).
The 622 km pipeline will transport gas from Northern Territory gas fields to Mount Isa in north-west Queensland, with gas to be used as a crucial feedstock by local businesses — including Incitec Pivot Limited’s Phosphate Hill and Gibson Island Facilities, as well as mining and other commercial operations throughout Queensland’s north-west.
Joining key project stakeholders to celebrate the completion of the NGP in Tennant Creek and Mount Isa, Jemena’s Managing Director, Frank Tudor, said that around 80% of the NGP’s capacity has been contracted; testament to the real need for additional gas across Australia’s east coast.
“Today we have taken a significant step towards ensuring Australian homes and businesses have the gas they need, when they need it,” Tudor said. “I commend the Northern Territory Government for commissioning the NGP project in 2015 and I am proud that the Territory is now well placed to become the home of Australia’s gas industry alongside Queensland.
“We know that the Northern Territory has enough gas to meet Australia’s future supply needs for the next 200 years or more, and our pipeline is the crucial, missing link that will connect this gas with Australian homes and businesses.”
Tudor said Jemena was well advanced in planning the expansion and extension of the Northern Gas Pipeline so that it further integrates with the east coast gas market.
“Provided gas is proven commercially viable in the Northern Territory, Jemena will be able to increase the NGP’s capacity from around 90 TJ a day up to 700 TJ a day,” he said. “To put this in context, this is enough gas to meet the average daily gas needs of Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide combined.
“The foundations we’ve laid in the Territory mean we will be able to complete this work at an expedited schedule while creating around 4000 jobs and investing approximately $3 to 4 billion. This investment is the answer to Australia’s future gas needs.”
Commercial operations are targeted to commence between 29 December and 10 January.
Tudor also said the NGP will help to lower gas prices for Australian homes and businesses.
“Jemena was awarded the right to build, own and operate the NGP following an extremely competitive tender process involving a number of other businesses. The strength of our submission was that it outlined the best and most efficient way to bring additional gas to market at the most competitive price for our customers,” he said. “While, at this stage, the NGP principally supplies industrial customers, Jemena has a strong history of lowering its portion of household gas bills and in 2018 announced that we were lowering distribution costs across the New South Wales Gas Network for the fifth year in a row.
“We are doing our part to ensure Australians have reliable and affordable energy by building new infrastructure, while also introducing efficiencies into our existing assets so as to continue to place downward pressure on prices.”
As part of Jemena’s Local First policy, around 75% of the more than 1100 jobs which were created throughout the construction, planning and commissioning phases of the NGP were filled by people from the regions surrounding the pipeline route.
Jemena extended this policy to its procurement processes with contracts worth more than $52 million being awarded to local businesses.
“We know when you employ local people and use local companies that the whole community benefits either directly or from the flow-on effects associated with greater economic activity,” Tudor said. “Jemena would like to thank the people of the Northern Territory, especially those in the Barkly region, and also the people of the Mount Isa region for their interest in and support of us and the project over the past few years.
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