Following brief speeches by dinner sponsors CNC Project Management and AJ Lucas, Mr Pittlik took the stage to outline the opportunities for the natural gas industry in Australia’s eastern states, stating that this increased level of investment “is driven by government policies mandating lower emission power generation”.
He said that these government policies will aid the transition of coal-fired power generation to cleaner energy options such as natural gas – a change which can already be seen by the number of proposed gas-fired projects listed on the New South Wales Department of Planning website.
Mr Pittlik told the 110 dinner attendees that Australia’s east coast is well placed to exploit its natural gas reserves, with 43,000 PJ of 2P reserves located in Queensland alone. He put this in perspective by stating that the current east coast gas consumption is 700 PJ per annum.
While some of Queensland’s reserves will be required for LNG export, there is more than enough gas available to supply Australia’s east coast as well.Article continues below…
ERM is taking advantage of this opportunity, with the proposed development of the $681 million Wellington Power Station, to be located 50 km south of Dubbo, New South Wales.
Mr Pittlik explained that the power station will be developed as an open-cycle plant to meet the current and increasing demand for peak electricity, and will be located adjacent to the New South Wales TransGrid 330 kV/132 kV substation.
“The demand for peaking power, or open-cycle plants, is ever increasing,” said Mr Pittlik.
The initial plant will include two 275 MW turbines, with the potential to increase the station’s capacity to 550 MW and/or converting the turbines to combined-cycle configuration at a later date.
The plant has been approved by the New South Wales Department of Planning and designated as a critical infrastructure development.
ERM is planning to construct a 219 km gas pipeline to run from the Young compressor/gas hub facility, located on the Moomba to Sydney Pipeline, to the power station.
The Young to Wellington Pipeline is required to be operational approximately three months prior to commencement of the plant testing of the Wellington Power Station.
The steel pipe will have a maximum external diameter of 508 mm, and the pipeline’s maximum operating pressure will be 15.3 MPa.
The pipeline received state environmental approval in March 2011.
ERM will undertake front-end engineering and design, as well as engineering, procurement and construction activities. A final investment decision is expected in 2012.