AGL has signed two agreements to support its proposed gas import jetty project at Crib Point in Victoria.
The first deal enables berth upgrades at the Port of Hastings as well as a leasing agreement that would be required, should the AGL project go ahead.
The second, with APA Group, is for the Crib Point to Pakenham pipeline to transport imported gas to homes and businesses.
The project remains subject to approvals, community consultation and a final investment decision by AGL.
“Although we have been consulting with community members and governments since 2017, some community members are still understandably concerned about the project and the impact it might have,” AGL spokesperson Kelly Parkinson said.
“We will continue to engage and involve any stakeholders in the assessment process.
“We’re carrying out feasibility into using the Crib Point Jetty because this has been identified as the best site to minimise local impact.”
Port of Hastings CEO Malcolm Geier said he is working with AGL as the project assessments and feasibility studies continue.
“The Port team looks forward to working with AGL and the community on the next phase of what is an exciting project for the Port and Crib Point,” he said.
The port authority will begin remediation works to prepare for AGL’s proposed use of the berth for the mooring of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU).
Those works include upgrades to pylons and measures that protect the jetty from damage.
This will create employment for local contractors and would be necessary, should a decision be made next year to prepare the jetty to receive gas.
Mr Parkinson said he is aware of concerns over the environmental impact of the project.
“We are very aware Western Port is an environmentally sensitive area and many areas within it are covered by the RAMSAR international convention on the protection of wetlands,” he said.
“There is already an existing jetty that currently functions for petrol importation.
“It has an existing deep water berth that does not require deep dredging and importantly it’s a relatively short distance from the Victorian gas network.”
Selecting another location would require the construction of a new jetty and significant excavation of the bay floor.
Should the project progress to completion, it is anticipated it would place downward pressure on gas prices.
Locally, the community and small businesses in Hastings, Crib Point, Bittern and the towns along the pipeline route can look forward to a community energy offer delivering guaranteed discounts on AGL’s electricity and gas prices, should the project proceed