AER approves new $33m gas pipeline

gas pipeline
AGN chief customer officer Andrew Staniford

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has given the green light to a proposed extension of Australian Gas Networks’ (AGN) South Australian natural gas network to Mount Barker.

The approval is for a new 40km, $33 million natural gas pipeline extending the existing natural gas network from Murray Bridge, through Monarto South and Kanmantoo, to the Mount Barker region.

Welcoming the AER final approval, AGN chief customer officer Andrew Staniford said the company was able to move ahead with finalising specific technical details and to once again engage with affected landholders along the proposed pipeline route.

The AGN Board will also now be able to make its final investment decision, which, if granted, will kick off the construction of the gas pipeline late in 2019, with works continuing over the following years.

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“The project will bring significant benefits, including over $60 million in economic benefits by making natural gas available to over 20,000 homes and businesses,” Mr Staniford said.

“We will ensure that the pipeline is ‘future proof’ and can carry renewable hydrogen in the future to allow a journey to zero emissions gas.

“This proposal would be our biggest single pipeline investment in South Australia in decades and will enable homes and businesses in the Mount Barker region to connect directly to the natural gas network.”

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It follows several other new and upgraded gas distribution projects across the State by AGN in recent years.

“Recent AGN projects already completed in South Australia include the extension of its gas network to Tanunda and McLaren Vale and significant network upgrades to support growth in the Adelaide CBD, Bowden and Murray Bridge,” Mr Staniford said.

AGN currently supplies natural gas to approximately 450,000 customers in South Australia through a distribution network of over 8,000 kilometres and achieves 95 per cent penetration in new developments where natural gas is available. The business provides gas to around 1.3 million customers nationally.