Lucy Hughes Jones
(Australian Associated Press)
Construction has begun on the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline project between the Northern Territory and Queensland.
At a sod-turning ceremony in the NT, Jemena managing director Paul Adams said the 622km pipeline between Tennant Creek and Mt Isa will play a crucial role in helping to resolve Australia’s gas supply crisis.
Mr Adams says the energy infrastructure company is investigating extending the pipeline south from Mt Isa to the Wallumbilla Gas Hub to further integrate Territory gas into the east-coast gas grid, provided additional gas supplies are made available in the Territory.
“Our modelling suggests that the pipeline can be relatively easily expanded and extended to transport up to, or beyond, 700 TJs of gas per day. This far exceeds gas used on an average day in the NSW and Queensland markets,” he said.
“The pipeline will also benefit Australian households and businesses in the southern states, as it will free up gas currently flowing north to supply LNG plants in Queensland, making this gas available for use in NSW, Victoria, and South Australia.”
The project will create around 900 jobs during construction, 600 of which are earmarked for members of the local community.
Mr Adams says the project is a boon for businesses that will get access to new gas at a cheaper price.
“Particularly when compared to the costs associated with transporting gas over long distances from the Moomba Gas Hub to Queensland and New South Wales,” he said.
The first gas on the pipeline is expected to flow in late 2018.