30 Sep 2020

APA Group welcomes the Independent Planning Commission’s decision to approve Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project.

APA will now continue to progress development of the Western Slopes Pipeline (WSP) — a new ~$500 million, 460-kilometre gas pipeline — to connect the natural gas from the Narrabri Gas Project to homes and businesses across New South Wales.

APA Group Managing Director Rob Wheals said, “The Narrabri Gas Project will deliver significant benefits to the state and local communities in the Narrabri region.

“Connecting to APA’s existing Moomba Sydney Pipeline, the WSP will play a key role in helping ensure that consumers across New South Wales continue to have safe, reliable and affordable gas supplies for their homes and their businesses.”

Mr Wheals said APA had completed a rigorous route selection process and other studies to mitigate environmental and community impacts.

“Critically, the WSP does not require any form of government subsidy or investment.

“The WSP will be a key addition to APA’s existing East Coast Gas Grid, which we continue to expand to deliver the most cost effective, flexible and timely solution to meet the forecast gas shortfalls in the south-eastern states from 2023.

“Connecting directly into APA’s East Coast Gas Grid provides access to more than 40 delivery points across New South Wales, thereby maximising the number of customers who benefit from the Narrabri Gas Project.

“Work on the East Coast Gas Grid expansion has already begun. This could see APA invest $250-to-$700 million to increase capacity from APA’s Wallumbilla Gas Hub to southern markets by between 25% and 50%. Importantly, APA is able to invest incrementally and efficiently on the East Coast Gas Grid to develop capacity as and where it is required by the market.

“APA is working to ensure capacity on the East Coast Gas Grid will not be the constraint to transporting gas from northern producers to southern customers.

“As a proudly Australian owned publicly listed infrastructure company, APA is committed to playing its part in securing Australia’s energy future, which is critical to economic growth and resilience.”

Mr Wheals stressed that APA will continue to engage with local landholders, community members and stakeholders during future stages of the WSP project, and will work to address key stakeholder interests regarding the project.

“APA looks forward to continuing our long and successful record of working with communities in New South Wales to deliver major infrastructure projects. The WSP is a significant investment that will not only bolster energy security but support economic recovery and provide jobs at this critical time."