NT govt wants to get ball rolling on pipeline for east coast gas

The
Northern Territory will call for expressions of interest in an Alice Springs to
Moomba gas pipeline, which could help alleviate east coast gas shortages.

The
Australian
reports that Adam Giles, the territory’s chief minister, was
confident construction could begin in 2016 after environmental impact
assessments were quickly completed over 12 – 18 months.

The
proposal was taken to last Friday’s COAG meeting and endorsed by attendees.
Giles later met with industry minister Ian Macfarlane over the weekend.

“This project will provide jobs and
infrastructure for the Northern Territory and particularly indigenous
communities,” Giles told The Australian.

Speaking
on Friday, Giles said the project would be a “win-win” and an important nation-building project.

“The eastern
states are fast approaching a gas supply crisis and the Territory has the
solution. We have the gas and they have the demand but there is currently no
economically viable way to get the gas from Northern Australia to the eastern
market,” he said.

“A pipeline is a win-win that would connect natural gas
companies with potential buyers in the eastern states, while also creating
economic opportunities for the Northern Territory.”

Manufacturing
Australia is in favour of the NT-SA project, also suggesting a trading hub be established
at the terminus in Moomba.

The trading
hub would help provide greater transparency in an uncompetitive gas market, and could be established by the Australian Energy Market Operator and functioning within 12 months, according to the industry lobby group

“A gas trading hub at
Moomba would increase price transparency, provide more options for trading gas
and make it easier for smaller gas producers to access and individually market
gas,”said Ben Eade,
Manufacturing Australia’s executive director.

The looming gas shortage is hugely concerning for manufacturers, especially in NSW, with supply tightening as LNG exports from major projects begin over the next two years.

Manufacturing Australia earlier this year put the cost of inaction on gas at 100,000 direct jobs in the industry.