Australian state clears interstate gas link

Feb 18, 1997 01:00 AM

Feb. 6, 1997 East Australian Pipeline Ltd (EAPL) and Gas Transmission Corp. (GTC) said that the New South Wales (NSW) state government had issued a permit allowing construction of a gas pipeline link between NSW and Victoria. "The issue of the permit indicates that the government approval process is almost complete and clears the way for the final approval of a licence that will allow the project to proceed," EAPL's general manager, Jim MacDonald said. EAPL is 50 % owned by NSW gas distributor, Australian Gas Light Co and 50 % by foreign investors while GTC is owned by the state of Victoria. The link will allow gas from the Santos Ltd-led Cooper Basin venture in South Australia, which is now delivered to NSW via the Moomba to Sydney pipeline, to be sold in Victoria and for gas from Victoria's Bass Strait to be sold in NSW.
The project involves the construction of a 146 km pipeline between Barnawarth, near Wodonga in Victoria and the town of Wagga Wagga in NSW and the initial connection is expected to cost about A$130 million. "Once licences have been issued by the respective state governments and final investment approval is given, orders will be placed for the purchase of major construction materials," the companies said. The companies said the new pipeline was planned to be completed and commissioned by early 1998.
The pipeline is one of two proposed gas links between NSW and Victoria with partners in the Bass Strait oil and gas fields, The Broken Hill Pty Co Ltd and Exxon Corp. proposing a 750 km Eastern Gas Pipeline in a joint venture with Vancouver-based Westcoast Energy which will link Bass Strait gas directly to Sydney. BHP has said that the project was scheduled to begin operations in 1997 or 1998, subject to government approval.

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