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    Australia unveils gas infrastructure plan

Summary

The plan sets out a long-term development pathway that locks in supply for households and manufacturers, and priority actions for east coast gas supply and infrastructure.

by: Shardul Sharma

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Australia unveils gas infrastructure plan

The Australian government November 26 released the first full National Gas Infrastructure Plan (NGIP) and the Future Gas Infrastructure Investment Framework to help secure our gas supplies over the next 20 years. 

As part of the government’s gas-led recovery, the NGIP sets out a long-term development pathway that locks in supply for households and manufacturers, and priority actions for east coast gas supply and infrastructure out to 2040. 

According to the NIGP, at least one new basin will need to be brought online before 2030 to meet projected east coast gas demand. The critical basins to unlock out to 2030 include the Narrabri gas project in New South Wales, the Beetaloo sub-basin in Northern Territory, the Galilee basin in Queensland and the North Bowen basin, also in Queensland.

The plan also envisions strategic expansions to existing pipeline capacity and the construction of entirely new pipelines to transport gas supplies to east coast markets; and expanded transportation capacity from north to south as northern supply expands and southern supply declines.

Minister for industry, energy and emissions reduction Angus Taylor said unlocking basins and getting gas to where it is needed will support our job-creating industries. “Our focus on gas and energy security has helped to grow our manufacturing sector, which is now at more than 1mn jobs – levels not seen since 2009,” he said.  

The government will implement priorities in the NGIP through the Investment Framework, which lays out the principles for potential Government support. It is also calling on the industry to contribute to a new expression of interest (EOI) process to identify critical projects that require support to accelerate delivery.  

The EOI seeks submissions on critical mid-stream gas infrastructure projects that meet both the priorities identified in the NGIP and the principles of the Investment Framework. This includes projects that enhance competition in the market and allow for the consideration of gas infrastructure that also supports hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, and biomethane. 

“The government wants industry to make these investments, and the Investment Framework and EOI will allow us to take action to accelerate the development of critical projects to Final Investment Decision,” Taylor said. 

The government has committed to developing an ongoing series of NGIPs, with the next report to be delivered in late 2022, it said.