The $1.1 billion pipeline that will link central Australia's stranded gas fields to customers up and down the nation's east coast is now even closer to reality.
The NT Government last year launched a competitive process calling for private-sector interest in building a pipeline that would take its growing gas resources from Australia’s Far North to high-demand markets in the eastern states.
With tenders now closed, the NT Government has narrowed the field of bidders to four main options. Two contenders, DDG Operations and Pipeline Consortia Partners, plan to deliver the link via Moomba in SA. It is believed the other bidders have built proposals around the shortest routes east - from Tennant Creek and to Mount Isa - to link into Queensland's network.
The SA treasurer Mr Koutsantonis is understandably pushing the SA options, - which some industry commentators believe would cost more to establish. “The economic benefits of the southern route far outweigh the Queensland option which requires additional processing facilities to be constructed before NT gas can access markets. Moomba also provides producers with access to international markets for other gas products, such as propane and butane, through existing export facilities at Port Bonython,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
The Federal Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia says a link between the NT and eastern states could unlock more gas projects and make the market more efficient.
The NT Government has given the pipeline major project status and says its development is “a matter of urgency for the eastern states which are fast approaching an energy security crisis”.
The NT is estimated to have more than 200 trillion cubic feet of gas resources in six onshore basins — potentially enough gas to power Australia for more than 200 years.
Source: Northern Territory Government