30/10/2017 - 13:17

ACIL, GHD win pipeline study

30/10/2017 - 13:17

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The federal government has commissioned ACIL Allen and GHD to study the possible development of a pipeline from Western Australia to the eastern states, one of the critical elements of a possible national gas market.

ACIL, GHD win pipeline study

The federal government has commissioned ACIL Allen and GHD to study the possible development of a pipeline from Western Australia to the eastern states, one of the critical elements of a possible national gas market.

Fulfilling a budget pledge, the government today announced the award to the two companies of a pre-feasibility study for a west-east gas pipeline.

ACIL Allen will conduct the market and economic analysis and GHD will assess the pipeline route and engineer the pipeline, with the study to be provided to the government by March next year.

In a joint statement, Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the companies had deep and wide experience in gas markets and infrastructure and the ability to deliver an excellent analysis.

GHD was awarded the planning for the Bunbury to Albany pipeline by the Barnett government in 2011. Late last year, then state developement minister Bill Marmion said the project was not viable.

The ministers said the study may lead to a full feasibility study into the pipeline to provide additional gas and increased competition to the east coast gas market.

“The government is powering forward with a plan that will deliver an affordable, reliable and responsible energy system which will also help meet our international obligations,” they said.

The study is funded from $5.2 million allocated in the budget to examine options to transport gas from the north and west of the country to the east coast.

The west-east pipeline joins AGL’s proposed east-coast LNG import terminal, limits on the export of LNG from Queensland and the ending of restrictions on gas exploration and production in NSW and Victoria as possible solutions to the east coast gas crisis.

WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt said the pipeline must be a benefit to his State.

Mr Wyatt said a west-east pipeline is nothing new, but previous comments by the Premier have made it clear this is not a separate issue from the State's GST revenue concerns.

"I'm not particularly minded to be participating in any cooperative way to try and help the east coast out of an energy problem that they've created due to their own policy failures," Mr Wyatt told Perth's 6PR radio.

"But I'll make it crystal clear, there will have to be some benefit to Western Australia."

Chief executive of APPEA, the oil and gas producer's lobby group, Malcolm Roberts said said the gas industry supported rigorous cost-benefit studies for new pipeline infrastructure.

“But is must be acknowledged that west coast gas is likely to be an expensive solution to east coast supply concerns," he said.

“The reality is local gas will always be cheaper gas."

Dr Roberts said transportation charges would make the WA gas expensive and developing local gas was the logical solution to supply concerns in the eastern Australian market.

 “It’s time the Victorian and NSW governments recognised that the cheapest gas available to homes and businesses in their states is the gas they are standing on. They need to get on and develop it,” he said.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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