Project Detail

On 1 November 2017, APA Group acquired the existing Orbost Gas Plant (OGP) and the export pipeline to the Eastern Gas Pipeline (EGP). The plant (previously owned and operated by Santos and known as the Patricia Baleen Gas Plant) has been undergoing an extensive upgrade over the last two years. Once operational, the gas plant and the export pipeline will supply treated gas to meet the growing market demand from the Australian eastern seaboard. Cooper Energy will continue to own and operate the offshore development of the Sole gas field.

Once commissioned, the Orbost Gas Plant is expected to deliver 68TJ/day into the network.

The construction phase of the Orbost Gas Plant has provided a boost to the local and regional economy, with beneficial flow-on into the community. During this time, there have been opportunities for contractors and suppliers within the immediate area, and from nearby regional centres such as Sale and the Latrobe Valley.

The Orbost Gas Plant will form a key role in APA’s contribution to the lowering of carbon emissions in the energy market, and to satisfy the continuing demand for gas on the eastern seaboard.

Project Works Update

APA is in the final stages of preparing the Orbost Gas Plant Facility for operations. A commissioning and start up program of works commenced in mid-August 2019 and will conclude in March 2020. As part of the start-up, activities will include:

  • Testing and preparation for start-up of existing and new plant.
  • Introduction of gas into the plant.
  • Start-up of the plant flare.
  • Start-up of plant gas engine electric generators.
  • Start-up of gas processing plant.

Works to complete construction and commissioning of the Orbost Gas Plant continued throughout 2019, however, the bushfires affecting the East Gippsland and the northeast regions over the Christmas and New Year period resulted in the evacuation of project resources from the area until mid-January 2020. The site has been remobilised on the advice of emergency services and the Country Fire Authority (CFA), however, air quality in Orbost has further impacted access to site and further delayed site progress during January.

APA has in place a comprehensive Emergency Response Plan that was prepared in collaboration with emergency services and the relevant authorities. We will continue to actively monitor the bushfire activity in the region and consult with relevant emergency services, including the CFA, about our activity on site.

We are committed to working with and assisting the Orbost and wider Gippsland communities with its bushfire recovery efforts. We will share more details following consultation with East Gippsland Shire, the Community Advisory Committee for the project, and other relevant stakeholders on the most appropriate forms of support.

Orbost Gas Plant Project Timeline

  • Mid-August 2019 – Commissioning and start-up program of works commenced.
  • February 2020 – First gas introduced in to the plant from the Eastern Gas Pipeline.
  • 12-14 March 2020 – Community drop-in sessions in Orbost.
  • March 2020 – Gas Plant commences operation.

Community Engagement

The below video provides a visual update of the status of the project (February 2020).

Key Project Facts

  • Over 40 local vendors and suppliers engaged to provide services and goods.
  • Over $25 million worth of contracts with local contractors.
  • Peak manning on site of 342 personnel including 20 APA staff, 242 contractor trades, 16 subcontractor trades and 62 contractor staff, with a high percentage of trades resources from Gippsland.
  • More than 14,300 metres of new piping.
  • Approximately 120 kilometres of cabling for power, instrumentation, controls and communication.
    310 concrete piles.
  • Over $80 million of procured equipment.

Location Map

For more information call 1800 ORBOST (1800 672 678).