The Australian government released its first full National Gas Infrastructure Plan (NGIP) and infrastructure investment framework to help secure natural gas supplies over the next 20 years.
The NGIP provides a development pathway for supply to households and manufacturers along with five priority actions for the country’s east coast gas supply and infrastructure to 2040.
At least one new basin will need to be brought on stream before 2030 to meet the projected east coast demand, it said. Critical basins include the Narrabri gas project in northern New South Wales, the Beetaloo subbasin in the Northern Territory, the Galilee basin in central Queensland, and the North Bowen basin in Queensland.
Expansions of existing pipeline capacity and construction of new pipelines to transport gas to east coast markets also are needed. In conjunction, expanded transportation capacity from north to south is needed as northern gas supply expands and the country’s gas supplies in the southeast decline.
The government has called on industry to contribute to a new expressions of interest process to identify projects that require support to accelerate delivery. This would include projects that enhance marketplace competition and allow for consideration of gas infrastructure that also supports hydrogen, carbon capture storage projects, and biomethane.
Australia’s Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions reduction, Angus Taylor, said the investment framework will enable the government to accelerate development of critical projects to final investment decision stage.
The NGIP is part of the Morrison Government’s plan for a gas-led recovery for the nation’s economy from the COVID-19 pandemic first unveiled in September 2020.