Jemena’s 622km Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP) has been completed, allowing the transport of gas from Northern Territory gas fields to Mount Isa in north-west Queensland.

The transported gas will be used as a crucial feedstock by local businesses –  including Incitec Pivot Limited’s Phosphate Hill and Gibson Island Facilities, as well as mining and other commercial operations throughout Queensland’s north west.

Commercial operations are targeted to commence between 29 December 2018 and 10 January 2019.   

Jemena’s Managing Director, Frank Tudor, said that around 80 per cent of the NGP’s capacity has been contracted; testament to the real need for additional gas across Australia’s east coast.

“Today we have taken a significant step towards ensuring Australian homes and businesses have the gas they need, when they need it,” said Mr Tudor.

“I commend the Northern Territory Government for commissioning the NGP project in 2015 and am proud that the Territory is now well-placed to become the home of Australia’s gas industry alongside Queensland.

“We know that the Northern Territory has enough gas to meet Australia’s future supply needs for the next 200 years or more, and our pipeline is the crucial, missing, link that will connect this gas with Australian homes and businesses.”

Mr Tudor said Jemena was well-advanced in planning the expansion and extension of the Northern Gas Pipeline so that it further integrates with the east coast gas market.

“Provided gas is proven as commercially viable in the Northern Territory, Jemena will be able to increase the NGP’s capacity from around 90TJs a day up to 700TJs a day. To put this in context, this is enough gas to meet the average daily gas needs of Sydney, Brisbane, and Adelaide combined.

“The foundations we’ve laid in the Territory mean we will be able to complete this work at an expedited schedule while creating around 4,000 jobs and investing approximately $3 to 4 billion.

“This investment is the answer to Australia’s future gas needs.”

Keeping costs down for customers

Mr Tudor said the NGP will help to lower gas prices for Australian homes and businesses.

“Jemena was awarded the right to build, own, and operate the NGP following an extremely competitive tender process involving a number of other businesses. The strength of our submission was that it outlined the best – and most efficient – way to bring additional gas to market at the most competitive price for our customers.

“While at this stage the NGP principally supplies industrial customers, Jemena has a strong history of lowering its portion of household gas bills and in 2018 announced that we were lowering distribution costs across the New South Wales Gas Network for the fifth year in a row.

“We are doing our part to ensure Australians have reliable and affordable energy by building new infrastructure, while also introducing efficiencies into our existing assets so as to continue to place downward pressure on prices.”

Supporting local communities

As part of Jemena’s Local First policy, around 75 per cent of the more than 1,100 jobs which were created throughout the construction, planning, and commissioning phases of the NGP were filled by people from the regions surrounding the pipeline route.

Jemena extended this policy to its procurement processes with contracts worth more than $52 million being awarded to local businesses.

“We know when you employ local people and use local companies that the whole community benefits either directly, or from the flow on effects associated with greater economic activity,” said Mr Tudor.

“Jemena would like to thank the people of the Northern Territory, especially those in the Barkly region, and also the people of the Mount Isa region for their interest in and support of us and the project over the past few years.

“Projects like the NGP are demonstrating the bench-strength of people and businesses from the Barkly and Mount Isa regions. I am very confident that these communities have a promising future as the opportunities associated with Australia’s gas industry continue to bear fruit.”

Jemena Northern Development Program

As the NGP transitions into its operational phase, Jemena will continue to support the communities surrounding the pipeline route through the Jemena Northern Development Program.

“We’re really excited to have been welcomed as a member of the communities surrounding the NGP and are keen to continue to provide either direct financial or in-kind support to businesses and organisations which are making a real difference in regional Australia,” said Mr Tudor.

“As the project moves into its operational phase we will also leverage the success of the NGP’s development program so we can offer local people an opportunity to participate in training that equips them with the skills they need to get a job either in the oil and gas industry or another industry of their choosing.”

Elisa Iannunzio

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