APA is embarking on a new gas pipeline infrastructure project that will connect new and existing gas provinces to existing gas pipeline infrastructure in the Northern Goldfields region of Western Australia.

The project will involve construction of the Northern Goldfields Interconnect (NGI), a new buried pipeline, approximately 580 kilometres long, commencing at Ambania, approximately 50 kilometres east of Geraldton, connecting into the existing Goldfields Gas Pipeline (GGP), approximately 40 kilometres south of Leinster. The project will initially include compression at the inlet, with associated aboveground facilities located along the route of the pipeline.

The NGI will create new opportunities for the supply of natural gas for the mining industry and provide for other growth opportunities in the Goldfields region and beyond. The NGI will provide greater access to existing and new natural gas supply fields supporting the region's processing and power generation growth requirements.

Pipeline route selection

APA has identified a proposed pipeline alignment for the NGI from desktop and field studies. These were undertaken to assess known environmental and cultural heritage values, terrain, existing and proposed infrastructure corridors, the existence of mining tenements, and land uses. APA is currently in the process of refining and firming up the pipeline alignment.

The proposed pipeline alignment traverses agricultural land, which includes a mix of cropping and pastoral land uses. Where possible, the pipeline alignment will make use of existing infrastructure corridors in order to reduce the extent of disturbance required for the project and in keeping with the proposed use of the land.

APA has been engaging with all landholders along the proposed pipeline corridor to discuss the proposed project, and to arrange land access for early investigations and surveys.

Pipeline design

The proposed pipeline will be designed and constructed in accordance with the latest version of Australian Standard AS2885 Pipelines Gas and Liquid Petroleum. AS2885 incorporates best-practice standards that the pipeline’s design and operation must satisfy. The pipeline will be licenced by a new Pipeline Licence issued under the Petroleum Pipelines Act 1969 (WA) allowing the construction and operation of the pipeline.

Land access

APA has applied for an easement to contain the pipeline. An easement is an agreement registered on the title of the land that sets out the rights of a pipeline owner to install and maintain the pipeline and also outlines the requirements of the landowner in the affected area of the easement.

Approvals process

This project is subject to a comprehensive program of regulatory approvals, and landowner and community consultation, which has been assisting APA in finalising the pipeline alignment and managing and mitigating any identified impacts.

APA will prepare an Environmental Management Plan that demonstrates how APA will manage any potential environmental impacts resulting from the project. APA will work closely with relevant authorities to gain all necessary approvals for the pipeline development. These include approvals for heritage, environment, licencing, construction, commissioning, and ongoing operations and maintenance.