AGL has announced the progression of its proposed gas import project at Crib Point in Victoria.
Two agreements have been signed, the first enabling berth upgrades at the Port of Hasting as well as a leasing agreement that would be required should the AGL project go ahead.
The second, with APA Group, is for the Crib Point to Pakenham pipeline to transport imported gas to homes and businesses. The project itself remains subject to approvals, community consultation and a final investment decision by AGL.
AGL project spokesman, Kelly Parkinson, said, “Although we have been consulting with community members and governments since 2017, some community members are still understandably concerned about the project and the impact it might have.
“We will continue to engage and involve any stakeholders in the assessment process.
“We’re carrying out feasibility into using the Crib Point Jetty because this has been identified as the best site to minimise local impact.”
Port of Hastings CEO, Malcolm Geier, said he is working with AGL as the project assessments and feasibility studies continue.
“The Port team looks forward to working with AGL and the community on the next phase of what is an exciting project for the Port and Crib Point,” he said.
The port authority will begin remediation works to prepare for AGL’s proposed use of the berth for the mooring of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU).
Those works include upgrades to pylons and measures that protect the jetty from damage.
This will create employment for local contractors and would be necessary, should a decision be made next year to prepare the jetty to receive gas.
AGL Managing Director & CEO, Andy Vesey, said, “The Crib Point LNG Import Jetty project has significant potential to provide AGL with the ability to deliver a new flexible source of gas supply to the southern states of Australia. This will deliver liquidity, increasing competition to put downward pressure on wholesale prices and provide much needed capacity and long-term security of supply.
“As highlighted in the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO)’s Victorian Gas Planning Report released in March 2018, without additional gas supply there is a potential shortfall in the market from 2022 and a potential shortfall in meeting peak Victorian winter daily demand in 2021. Our proposed project is uniquely placed to address this challenge.
AGL spokesman Kelly Parkinson said he is aware of concerns over the environmental impact of the project.
“We are very aware that Western Port is an environmentally sensitive area and many areas within it are covered by the RAMSAR international convention on the protection of wetlands,” he said.
“There is already an existing jetty that currently functions for petrol importation.
“It has an existing deep water berth that does not require deep dredging and importantly it’s a relatively short distance from the Victorian gas network.”
Selecting another location would require the construction of a new jetty and significant excavation of the bay floor.
Should the project progress to completion, it is anticipated it would place downward pressure on gas prices.