Yesterday’s alarming Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) 2022 Interim gas report predicts significant gas shortfalls in 2023 and beyond as well as rising energy prices – resulting in a threat to local industry and jobs.
Squadron Energy CEO Eva Hanly said small and medium business customers who purchase gas on the spot market are increasingly worried about a gas shortage which could mean gas prices skyrocket – putting pressure on their ability to operate.
“It is extremely concerning that the ACCC’s outlook for the east coast gas market has significantly worsened. We are focused on getting the energy terminal at Port Kembla finished as quickly as possible to ensure gas will be available to help commercial and industrial users, gas-powered generators (GPG) and retailers,” she said.
The Port Kembla Energy Terminal is being constructed by Squadron Energy which is part of the Tattarang group of companies, owned by Andrew and Nicola Forrest. Its wharf infrastructure is 80 percent complete, and is due to be operational at the end of 2023.
“Our terminal will be available to bring in gas next year. It is the only solution that can supply gas directly into the East Coast gas network – the other proposals such as developing new gas fields at Narrabri or building new pipelines from Queensland will not be able to deliver gas for years,” Ms Hanly said.
The ACCC forecasts the east coast of Australia could face a shortfall of 56 petajoules in 2023 and the PKET can deliver up to 130 petajoules per annum, or 75% of the gas needs of New South Wales.
While the ACCC is strongly encouraging LNG exporters to immediately increase their supply into the market, the challenge is physically getting the gas from Queensland into NSW and Victoria. The congestion within the gas pipelines means that there is not a lot of opportunity to bring more gas down from Queensland.
“The great thing about this terminal is that it has the potential to ship gas from Queensland directly into NSW, bypassing the congested pipeline infrastructure.” Ms Hanly said.
In January 2020 when the New South Wales Government signed the NSW Energy Package Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Commonwealth, the Port Kembla Energy Terminal was named as one of the solutions.
“Since that landmark MOU, we have been progressing construction of the terminal to ensure this solution will be in place as quickly as possible. We are speaking to energy retailers, energy customers, consumer groups and market bodies and I believe together we can deliver a solution which secures future supply for NSW and Victoria,” Ms Hanly said.
Squadron Energy is also focused on developing large scale renewable energy projects.
“We are planning this terminal with a green hydrogen future in mind so it can be transitioned to bring in green energy. The pipeline connecting the PKET with the East Coast Gas network will be the first green hydrogen enabled pipeline under construction in Australia. However, in the short-term gas is urgently needed and we hope our Terminal can relieve this gas crisis.”