No doubting what the biggest news of the week was in the North West even if it was only symbolic.
Dignatories from state and local government joined traditional owners, local businesses and other stakeholders to celebrate the sod-turning of the Mount Isa end of Jemena’s Northern Gas Pipeline with project builder Jemena.
The NGP will link up the Northern Territory gas fields beyond Tennant Creek to Mount Isa in a 622km pipeline and Jemena’s Managing Director Paul Adams was keen to talk it up as a nation building exercise and one which will help solve Australia’s energy supply crisis.
“The NGP will not only help to solve the east-coast gas crisis by bringing much-needed additional gas to market, it will also bring jobs and contracts for local people and Queensland businesses throughout its construction and commissioning phases,” Mr Adams said.
“The project is also a boon for businesses that rely on gas as either a feedstock or fuel source by providing them with 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.”
The NGP will connect with east coast market but will also supply gas to players in the local market.
Mr Adams said Incitec Pivot was one of its first customers and the compressor station is strategically located next to the Diamantina Power Station.
“One of the reasons we are bringing the pipeline in here is that it is far simpler to connect into the network,” Mr Adams said.
“This is the furthest point in the east coast gas market.”
Mount Isa is connect to that market via APA’s Carpentaria pipeline but of particular interest is Jemena proposal to extend the NGP directly to Wallumbilla which if comes off will require more work and more jobs in the region.
Wallumbilla is home to the gas supply hub, an exchange introduced in 2014 to enable improved wholesale trading for an east coast gas market affected by significant liquefied natural gas exports in Queensland.
The NGP is planned to open by the end of 2018 – Derek Barry