14 Jun 2022

The energy crisis gripping the east coast of Australia underscores the importance of APA’s $270 million investment to expand its East Coast Gas Grid by 25 per cent ahead of potential southern market shortfalls identified in the 2022 AEMO Gas Statement of Opportunities, APA Group CEO Rob Wheals said today.

Mr Wheals said APA’s East Coast Gas Grid was playing a critical role in the current crisis, enabling the flexible and safe transportation of natural gas, with additional capacity available to accommodate spikes in demand.

“As EnergyQuest reported yesterday, while there has been some misunderstanding of pipeline capacity over recent weeks, the South West Queensland Pipeline only averaged 57 per cent of capacity in the first week of June. We have available capacity in the grid to ensure we’re able to move gas to where it is needed most,” he said.

“APA’s East Coast Gas Grid is akin to a big battery – capable of dispatching and delivering energy security when it’s needed and it is playing a critical role right now in ensuring energy security on the east coast.

“Australians know that natural gas is the workhorse of the energy grid. It is capable of being turned on in minutes, and sustained for extended periods, delivering energy security when it’s needed most, making it a vital complement to variable renewable energy.

“Pipeline gas is also lower in emissions than gas proposed to be supplied via east coast LNG import terminals, which are years away from operation, and pipeline gas is more cost effective given the strong global demand for LNG.

“Our investments in the staged expansion of the East Coast Gas Grid are already underway and will increase overall capacity by a quarter. Stage 1 is targeted for completion ahead of forecast southern state supply risks in winter 2023 and stage 2 expected to come online in 2024.

“These are critical investments APA is making in the national interest, recognising the vital role we play as a leading Australian energy infrastructure business, in connecting Australian homes, businesses and communities with responsible energy solutions today, while supporting the development of the energy solutions of tomorrow, such as hydrogen and biogas. Our existing gas infrastructure will be essential to enable these potential future industries.”