Esperance gas project in the pipeline

AN EXTENSION of the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline (DBNGP) as far east as Esperance could be a reality within three years.

Resources Development Minister Colin Barnett told the Australian Pipeline Industry Association’s annual conference this week the WA Government was considering calling for expressions of interest for the project.

He said the Government could help fund the project, as it had for the Goldfields Gas Pipeline built by Western Power and Australian Gas Light.

The pipeline is proposed to go to Albany with extensions to Ravensthorpe and Esperance.

DBNGP owner Epic Energy has completed a commercial feasibility study on the extension.

While the study will not be released for a couple of weeks, early figures show Government funding would be required for the extension to proceed.

Extending the pipeline to the Sons of Gwalia’s expanding Greenbushes tantalum mine is expected to cost $10 million.

It has been estimated taking the line to Albany will cost about $95 million for full compression.

A fully-compressed gas pipeline would allow Albany to set up a natural gas reticulation network similar to Perth. Albany residents rely on liquefied natural gas cylinders for gas.

An Epic spokesperson said the pipeline did not need to be compressed to supply industry.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry manager industry and resources Bill Sashegyi said the economics of the pipeline extension could change with the establishment of just one major project in the right location.

“While things look pretty remote to the east of Albany, one development in the hinterland of WA could change the economics,” he said.

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