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    APA to expand South West pipeline in Victoria

Summary

The investment is expected to enable additional capacity in the Victorian transmission system ahead of gas supply shortfalls highlighted by the Australian Energy Market Operator.

by: Shardul Sharma

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APA to expand South West pipeline in Victoria

Australian energy infrastructure business, APA Group, on April 21 announced it had sanctioned a A$60mn ($43.3mn) expansion of the South West pipeline in the state of Victoria through the installation of an additional compressor facility at Winchelsea compressor station.

This investment is expected to enable additional capacity in the Victorian transmission system ahead of gas supply shortfalls highlighted by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) in the 2022 Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO), which assesses forecast supply and demand out to 2040, APA said.

“The vast majority of residential gas customers in Victoria use gas to cook with and to heat their homes in winter. AEMO’s 2022 GSOO flagged potential gas shortfalls in Victoria from winter 2023 and suggested that in extreme conditions, this could result in demand curtailment, including asking households to ‘voluntarily reduce their use of gas during forecast extreme peak day events,” APA CEO Rob Wheals said.

“In response, APA has worked collaboratively with the Australian Energy Regulator and the Victorian government to expedite augmentation of the South West pipeline to provide further capacity, recognising the critical importance of natural gas to Victoria’s energy system. We anticipate this will be rolled into our asset base from 2023,” he added.

Wheals said work on the additional compressor would begin immediately, targeting the compressor to be in place ahead of AEMO’s forecast gas shortfalls to enable additional capacity in the Victorian transmission system.