AGL Energy Limited (AGL) today acknowledged the New South Wales Government's Strategic Regional Land Use Policy announcements for the Upper Hunter region, including the codes of practice for the coal seam gas industry, citing the need to get on with the job of securing the state's future gas needs with increased community support around a tougher regulatory framework.
New South Wales imports approximately 95 percent of its gas from other states and these contracts start expiring in 2016. Unless the state secures its own sources of gas, we are at risk of supply shortfalls.
The Government's recent announcements provide a rigorous framework for coal seam gas operations to coexist alongside the region's other primary land uses, including agricultural, viticultural and equine industries.
Group General Manager Upstream Gas, Mike Moraza, said: "The plan should provide the surrounding communities with confidence about how AGL will undertake its operations across the state and ensure the environment will be protected. AGL will continue to inform and engage our communities about our activities.
"Natural coal seam gas will play a vital role in meeting future energy demand and AGL's operations will help ensure energy security for New South Wales families and businesses," he said.
AGL currently supplies gas to more than 1.4 million homes and businesses in eastern Australia. More than 700,000 of these customers are based in New South Wales. AGL's Hunter Gas Project and Gloucester Gas project, both of which are in the exploration phase, are affected by today's announcements outlined by the Government.
AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated renewable energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.