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Esso Australia has announced the start of construction on the new Longford Gas Conditioning Plant at a ground breaking event with The Hon Peter Ryan MLA, Deputy Premier of Victoria and Scott Rossetti, Mayor of Wellington Shire Council.  The plant will process gas from the Kipper Tuna Turrum Project, Australia’s largest domestic gas development located on the eastern seaboard.

“The Gas Conditioning Plant project is part of Esso and BHP Billiton’s significant investment program in natural gas projects in Gippsland,” said Richard Owen, Chairman of ExxonMobil Australia. “Once the plant is operational in 2016, we will deliver 1.6 trillion cubic feet of gas to the East Australia market, helping replace declining production from existing fields.”

The Gas Conditioning Plant is a major project for Gippsland and is expected to create around 250 direct construction jobs as well as other indirect employment opportunities.

“Our plans for Longford make this an exciting time for Gippsland and Victoria,” Owen said. “The construction of the plant requires the effort of many hundreds of people working closely together to ensure the project is developed in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.”

CB&I Constructors Pty Ltd have been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the plant and will manage the construction site.

The Gas Conditioning Plant is being built adjacent to Esso’s existing Longford facilities near Sale.  Initial activity at the site will include the establishment of basic infrastructure including administration buildings, training facilities, roads and parking to accommodate the construction workforce. Warehousing and laydown areas adjacent to the new plant will also be established to temporarily store materials and equipment prior to being installed.

Esso Australia’s facilities at Longford have been operating for more than 40 years but were designed to treat natural gas with a different composition. The new plant is needed to condition Kipper Tuna Turrum natural gas to meet gas quality specifications for sale into the market.

The plant is being developed by Esso Australia as part of the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture in which Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd (EARPL) and BHP Billiton Petroleum (Bass Strait) Pty Ltd each have a 50 percent interest.

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