The Federal Government said the funds will help boost the east coast gas market across the entire supply chain.
Through the 2021-22 Budget, the government will commit $38.7 million for targeted support of critical gas infrastructure projects to alleviate the forecast gas supply shortfall, along with $3.5 million to design and implement the Future Gas Infrastructure Investment Framework to support medium- and long-term gas projects.
The government allocated a further $6.2 million to accelerate the development of the Wallumbilla Gas Supply Hub in Queensland, as well as $4.6 million to develop initiatives that will help gas-reliant businesses to negotiate competitive contract outcomes.
The government also released the National Gas Infrastructure Plan: Interim Report (Interim NGIP) when announcing the funding, with the report to provide a blueprint for the infrastructure requirements for Australia’s east coast gas market to 2027.
The report identifies two gas storage projects in Victoria, the expansion of the South West Victorian pipeline and one LNG import terminal as four critical infrastructure projects that are required to avoid the projected gas shortfall this decade.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said gas was a “critical enabler of the Australian economy”.
“Our Interim NGIP demonstrates the importance of infrastructure to overcoming the forecast gas shortfall,” he said.
“The government will not sit back and allow the shortfall to eventuate – the risk to the economy is too great.
“Without action to address supply, industry and households will be faced with higher prices, disruptions in supply and unplanned outages.”
APGA welcomed the release of the report, with APGA CEO Steve Davies calling the Interim NGIP “an important milestone”.
“A stable environment that recognises the risks and competition investors face when making long- term decisions will help the market deliver the next wave of investment to secure Australia’s gas supply into the future,” Mr Davies said.
“Industry has an excellent track record of delivering infrastructure investment when and where it is needed. In recent weeks, there have been significant announcements and major projects being actively explored across the sector.
“The Interim NGIP also highlights the lynchpin role gas power generation plays in the National Electricity Market.“
“Gas powered generation that is connected to the gas pipeline network can allow very high renewable electricity systems (90 per cent or more) to function reliably at much lower cost than they would otherwise.
“Studies increasingly show that maintaining gas powered generation at current levels will deliver faster and cheaper decarbonisation of the electricity sector and the interim NGIP anticipates this in its demand forecast.”
For more information visit the APGA website.