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Leading energy infrastructure utility, Jemena, and delivery partner in the electricity and gas infrastructure market, Zinfra, are both part of the SGSPAA group of companies. As part of a joint business initiative undertaken by Jemena and Zinfra, it was decided that the Jemena Major Projects team would transition to the Zinfra Projects and Infrastructure group, forming a new integrated Projects team. This transition was completed on 1 April 2021 and sees all the project delivery consolidated under one business arm.

Jemena owns and operates some of Australia’s most important gas transmission pipelines. It is the largest gas distributor in New South Wales, with over 1.4 million residential and business connections and is evaluating a number of opportunities to grow in the renewables market segment.

Mark Turner, General Manager Gas Projects at Zinfra, said that the integration of the Zinfra and Jemena teams has created more opportunities for collaboration and upskilling, plus shared capabilities, which results in better service and quality outcomes for clients. 

“We work very closely together and both businesses are already very integrated. We are one team, to the point that it’s hard to tell sometimes who’s Jemena and who’s Zinfra. This is reflective of Zinfra’s commitment to building and maintaining genuine partnerships,” Mr Turner said.

“But this transition benefits all parties. The move means all our project management people are now housed together, forming what is now the Projects team, bringing a wealth of large project experience.

“It enhances Zinfra’s overall business through the sharing of knowledge and experience, enshrining the trusted partner values throughout the whole organisation. Jemena also knows that it has a reliable partner in Zinfra that can deliver high-quality assets at a competitive price.

“The main focus of the Gas Projects team is to deliver projects on time and within budget for Jemena. The team will look after, on average, projects worth over $30 million.

“The team will continue to work closely with local communities to ensure that throughout the delivery of our projects we cause the minimum amount of disruption. We have a proven track record of positive community engagement with local stakeholders, Indigenous groups and environmental organisations regarding our projects, and it’s a record that we’re really proud of.”

Embracing innovation to future-proof Australia’s energy system

Within the Gas Projects team, there will be a strong focus on projects that incorporate emerging fuels such as hydrogen and biomethane. 

In November 2020, Jemena and Sydney Water announced they had signed an agreement to produce biomethane at the Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant in South Sydney.

This agreement will see biomethane injected into the gas network for the first time in Australia with an initial capacity of 95TJ of renewable gas per year, which is enough to meet the gas demand of approximately 6,300 Sydney homes and businesses.

The $14 million project is jointly funded by Jemena ($8.1 million) and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), who provided $5.9 million in grant funding. The facility is expected to produce the first biomethane for injection into the Jemena gas network by 2022, and has the potential to be scaled up to produce 200TJ of green gas per year – enough to power around 13,300 homes. 

The agreement builds on Jemena’s renewable gas credentials, with the utility on track to start injecting renewable hydrogen into the New South Wales gas network by the end of 2021 as part of the landmark Western Sydney Green Gas project. 

The $15 million project, also co-funded by ARENA, is the most comprehensive hydrogen demonstration in Australia and over the next five years, will test the generation of hydrogen gas from solar and wind power, the storage of hydrogen in existing pipeline assets and provide off-take gas for the vehicle industry.

A 500kW electrolyser will be able to generate enough hydrogen to power approximately 250 homes, and if the demonstration is successful, Jemena will look to expand the Power to Gas technology across more areas of the network. Hydrogen can be safely added to the natural gas mains at concentrations of up to 10 per cent without affecting pipelines, appliances or regulations.

“Zinfra Gas Projects is delivering both these projects on behalf of Jemena, and both Jemena and Zinfra believe hydrogen and biomethane will play a huge role in the decarbonisation of Australia’s energy system,” Mr Turner said.

“Some of the biggest challenges we’ve faced on the Western Sydney Green Gas project have been related to adverse weather conditions. In New South Wales we’ve had so much rain lately, and it’s really disrupted construction – luckily, we pride ourselves on being responsive, flexible and proactive problem solvers.

“We’ve managed to catch up and we’re on target to provide Jemena customers with green gas by the end of this year. The project is also on target to be completed lost time injury free, which is fantastic news and just goes to show what a great safety record we have within the organisation.”

Leveraging industry expertise to secure supply for the eastern states

Zinfra will also play a key role in delivering projects that fall under Jemena’s southern and northern gas growth strategies, particularly in the core business areas of gas transmission pipelines, gas compression and gas processing.

In December 2020, Jemena signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Australian Industrial Energy to connect the Port Kembla Gas Terminal (PKGT) with the Eastern Gas Pipeline (EGP).

As part of the MOU, Jemena intends to construct a 12km underground pipeline capable of safely and efficiently transferring gas from the PKGT directly into the EGP – the major natural gas arterial between Victoria and NSW.

Jemena plans to build the connecting pipeline and modify the EGP so that it can deliver over 200TJ of gas from NSW into the Victorian market, while being able to supply over 450TJ of gas per day to NSW – a 25 per cent increase on its current capacity.

The project received Critical State Significant Status (CSSI) early on in the approval process and remains the only gas terminal in Australia with an existing development consent. 

Reflecting its importance to energy security, the lateral pipeline was included in the NSW Government’s Priority Project List in September 2020. The project is currently on track to supply more than 75 per cent of NSW’s gas needs by the end of 2022.

The expansion of the Roma North gas processing facility in Queensland was also approved early this year, with natural gas production to be increased from 16TJ to 24TJ per day. Under the terms of the agreement, Jemena will procure and install two additional compression units to boost capacity, with commissioning of the facility expected to take place in third quarter of this year.

“We’re also supporting Jemena’s business development team on the current opportunities they’re working on, for example Galilee Energy development in the Galilee Basin,” Mr Turner said.

“Then there’s the Beetaloo Basin which is looking very positive at this stage, and we’re in talks about how we can potentially tap into the Beetaloo Basin gas reserves as soon as possible, including constructing a transmission pipeline from the Beetaloo Basin to the east coast.

“Zinfra takes a long-term perspective to its relationships and contracts, and we look forward to continuing to expand our capabilities in the gas infrastructure space while making a positive contribution to Australia’s energy infrastructure.”

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by Zinfra – your trusted partner in energy. For more information on Zinfra’s engineering, project management, construction, operations and maintenance services, visit www.zinfra.com.au.

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

©2021 Utility Magazine. All rights reserved

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