TECHNICAL reports supporting applications to build a gas pipeline from Crib Point to Pakenham will be available at “community sessions” at Balnarring, Hastings and Crib Point.
The proposed $160-$200 million 60 kilometre pipeline is required to carry gas from a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) planned to be moored at Crib Point by power supplier AGL.
AGL announced last month that it has signed an agreement for the pipeline with APA as well as another agreement to prepare the berth at Crib Point for the 300 metre long FRSU (“Contracts ‘advance’ AGL’s gas plan” The News 12/6/18).
Since that announcement – which included “guaranteed [gas and electricity] discounts” for the community and small businesses in Hastings, Crib Point, Bittern and the towns along the pipeline route “should the project proceed” – Hastings MP Neale Burgess and Flinders MP Greg Hunt have said they oppose AGL’s project (“Libs ‘united’ against gas plan” The News 10/7/18).
A protest on the foreshore at Hastings was attended by hundreds of people who marched with placards and listened to speakers warn about risks to public safety and the environment posed by the gas terminal (“Hundreds at power protest” The News 3/7/18).
In June APA said it had been working with AGL since October 2017 and, if given the go ahead by governments and the AGL, it expected the first domestic market gas delivery along the pipeline in the 2021 financial year.
APA describes itself as “Australia’s leading energy infrastructure business”.
“We’ve been connecting Australia’s energy since 2000. From small beginnings we’ve become a top 50 ASX-listed company, employing 1700 people and owning and operating the largest interconnected gas transmission network across Australia,” the company’s website states. “We deliver smart, reliable and safe solutions through our deep industry knowledge and interconnected infrastructure.”
In announcing dates for the community information sessions APA said the meetings “will deliver an update on the project and provide an opportunity to ask questions and share your views”.
“The project is subject to a comprehensive program of regulatory approvals which are supported by environmental technical studies and surveys undertaken by specialists for APA,” the announcement of the community drop-in sessions states.
“The technical reports that will support the project’s environmental effect referral and Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation referral will be presented.
“Representatives from AGL will be also present at these sessions to answer your questions and queries about the FSRU Project.”
APA managing director Mick McCormack said in a 12 June news release that “shipping-in the much needed resource [gas] is a smart solution”.
“I’ve said for some time now that the east coast gas issues are about a lack of affordable gas supply, and this innovative solution championed and progressed by AGL certainly goes towards injecting a flexible source of new gas supply into the tight domestic market in eastern Australia,” Mr McCormack said.
“This should help alleviate potential gas supply shortfalls in Victoria in 2021 – 2022 as forecast by the Australian Energy Market Operator.
“We’ll continue to work with AGL and all the relevant stakeholders to help bring this project to where a final investment decision can be made. As with all our new build projects, engaging with communities and landholders will be our key focus in the near term.”
The community sessions organised by APA and AGL will he held at:
Balnarring Hall, 3041 Frankston-Flinders Road, 6pm Friday 27 July.
Hastings Hall, 3 High Street, Hastings, 12.30pm Saturday 28 July.
Crib Point Hall, 7 Park Road, 6pm Tuesday 31 July.
Drop-in sessions are also being held along the proposed route of the pipeline at Nar Nar Goon and Cardinia.