APA highlights importance of its Aussie grid expansion project
The energy crisis gripping the east coast of Australia underscores the importance of APA’s A$270mn ($188.7mn) investment to expand its east coast gas grid by 25% ahead of potential southern market shortfalls identified in the 2022 AEMO Gas Statement of Opportunities, APA Group CEO Rob Wheals said on June 14.
Wheals said APA’s east coast gas grid was playing a critical role in the current crisis, enabling the flexible and safe transportation of natural gas, with additional capacity available to accommodate spikes in demand.
“As EnergyQuest reported yesterday, while there has been some misunderstanding of pipeline capacity over recent weeks, the South West Queensland Pipeline only averaged 57% of capacity in the first week of June. We have available capacity in the grid to ensure we’re able to move gas to where it is needed most,” he said.
“Australians know that natural gas is the workhorse of the energy grid. It is capable of being turned on in minutes, and sustained for extended periods, delivering energy security when it’s needed most, making it a vital complement to variable renewable energy,” Wheals added.
The first stage of the expansion project is targeted for completion ahead of forecast southern state supply risks in winter 2023 and stage two is expected to come online in 2024.