Five minutes with Dave Green

Energy Source and Distribution catches up with Jemena Pipelines general manager commercial and business development Dave Green to discuss the company’s gas transmission pipeline projects and why the Eastern Gas Pipeline is well placed to accommodate additional demand.

How big is the Jemena Pipeline network?

Jemena operates approximately 1500km of gas transmission pipelines and associated facilities throughout Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. In addition to the Eastern Gas Pipeline (EGP) and the Queensland Gas Pipeline (QGP), other assets we own and manage include the VicHub Pipeline and the Colongra Gas Storage and Transmission facility.

What does your role as general manager commercial and business development entail?

Jemena’s purpose is to deliver energy to its customers, so my role as part of the Jemena Pipelines’ team is to facilitate and support the development of strategic gas transportation solutions on the east coast of Australia. We do this by spending a lot of time working with energy retailers, wholesalers, gas producers as well as government regulators and industry bodies – because it is critical to remain engaged with the energy industry in order to meet the changing needs of energy consumers.

Jemena currently provides, and is seeking to develop, reliable competitive pipeline routes, which in the long term will mean gas customers have more flexible options when it comes to managing their broader gas portfolios.

How has the business evolved throughout your time in the Jemena Pipelines team?

In the past five years we have increased the capacity of both the EGP and the QGP. The EGP is a key supply artery between the Gippsland Basin, ACT and NSW and together with the VicHub interconnect, provides a valuable link between the key east coast markets.

The QGP links the Wallumbilla gas hub in south-central QLD to large industrial gas users in Gladstone and Rockhampton.

We are now actively seeking opportunities to expand the EGP and the QGP to provide future transportation solutions for our customers.

What are the largest gas transmission pipeline projects undertaken by Jemena in Australia in the past
five years?

Since 2007, Jemena has successfully completed a number of major transmission pipeline expansion projects.

To the EGP, one project added a midline compressor station near Mila in NSW, while a second project added a fourth compressor at Longford in VIC. We also invested more than $100 million in a third project to double the capacity of the QGP to 52 PJ/annum via 113km of looping and by the installation of two midline compressors.

One of the most innovative of our activities in the past five years was designing and building the Colongra Gas Transmission and Storage Pipeline.

This not only delivers gas to Delta’s new 600MW gas-fired peaking power station, it also has sufficient gas storage capacity to allow the power station to run at full capacity for five hours.

What makes the Colongra Gas Transmission and Storage Pipeline such an innovative project?

In an Australian-first, Jemena designed and built the Colongra pipeline to not only deliver gas to the Delta power station, but also store enough gas to allow the station to run at full capacity for five hours. The project is characterised by many Australian-firsts for a gas pipeline, including: Largest diameter on-shore gas pipeline; use of the pipeline specifically as a storage pressure vessel; use of pre-made 42″ diameter, 30mm wall thick Induction Bends; looping of the 42″ Storage Pipeline into a continuous piggable pipeline; and largest water bath heater. The pipeline needed to be able to withstand high fatigue stresses from pressure cycling and shear stresses from being located in a mine subsidence area. New stress analysis methods had to be developed to assess these requirements.

How is the EGP placed to accommodate additional demand for gas?

The EGP supplies more than half the gas consumed in NSW so it is ideally located to meet the growing demand for gas from residential, industrial and commercial customers. The pipeline supplies gas to a number of regional gas distribution networks including the Jemena Natural Gas Network, which distributes gas to more than 1.1 million homes and businesses throughout NSW. Demand for gas is in part being driven by the 30,000 new customer sites that are added to the Jemena Gas Network each year.

What’s on the horizon for Jemena’s pipeline business?

Jemena has recently entered an agreement to expand the QGP with commissioning expected in 2015. The detailed design work for an expansion is currently underway on the QGP and Jemena hopes to pursue other opportunities for the domestic market or the LNG market over the next couple of years. The QGP has the potential to continue to play a key role in shipping gas to Gladstone, both for the domestic market and for LNG opportunities.

Jemena is currently aggregating loads for an expansion of the EGP with the addition of two new compressors, which we expect to commit to later this year.

It is anticipated this next stage of expansion will increase the EGP’s total capacity from 106 PJ/a to 130 PJ/a and will take approximately two years. There is also the capability to loop the EGP in the future should demand exceed the expansion plans that are under consideration. There is also the capability to loop the EGP should future demand exceed expansion plans that are currently being considered.

As the supply dynamics on the east coast change, so gas transmission pipelines will have a critical role to play in linking key demand and supply centres and providing highly reliable transportation services.

I see Jemena having a key role to play in developing new transmission pipelines if these are required to secure supply for our customers.