AGL Managing Director & CEO, Andy Vesey, and NSW Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, Anthony Roberts, officially opened the Newcastle Gas Storage Facility (NGSF) site in Tomago (NSW) following three years of construction.

The facility’s 40 metre high LNG storage tank can hold up to 30,000 tonnes of LNG, which would meet the Greater Newcastle region’s natural gas demand for up to two weeks in the event of a major gas supply disruption.

LNG stored at the facility is sourced from the New South Wales gas network via the Wilton-Newcastle trunk pipeline and will be used to support peak demand for natural gas during winter.

In addition to injecting gas back into the network when needed, LNG will also be able to be transported from the NGSF by truck. It has the capability to dispatch up to 1,000 LNG road tankers each year.

Gas Energy Australia’s CEO, Mike Carmody, said transporting LNG by road created a virtual pipeline which offered an alternative energy source for people living in areas not connected to the gas pipeline network. It could also supply natural gas to communities affected by pipeline disruptions as occurred recently at Whyalla in South Australia.

“The ability to be transported to, and used in, even the most remote locations is one of the major advantages that all. Australian gaseous fuels provide, making gas a secure and accessible energy source,” Mr Carmody said.

“Projects like the NGSF, along with similar LNG micro plants at Dandenong in Victoria, Kwinana in Western Australia, Westbury in Tasmania and near Chinchilla in Queensland, prove that the industry is committed to investing in the infrastructure needed to ensure cleaner, cheaper gas is a viable alternative to foreign fuel for use domestically.

“Less reliance on imported fuel, reduced fuel costs, cleaner air, more local jobs and a stronger economy – that’s what using more natural gas fuels for transport and stationary energy could help achieve for Australia by displacing the use of carcinogenic diesel.”

More than 300 people worked on the NGSF project during peak construction. Construction of the facility contributed around $144 million to the Newcastle region’s economy in total.

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