AGL installs new continuous emissions monitoring equipment to satisfy EPA licence conditions

AGL Energy Limited (AGL) has purchased and installed new continuous emissions monitoring equipment for its main compressor at the Camden Gas Project. The new equipment is designed to continuously monitor oxides of nitrogen emissions (a component of natural gas combustion) from the Rosalind Park Gas Plant, as required under the Camden Gas Project’s Environmental Protection Licence.

AGL sourced the new equipment after senior management became aware that the existing equipment was not continuously monitoring air emissions. The new equipment was built from scratch and imported from Sweden to meet stringent environmental operating standards in New South Wales. It ensures AGL has a reliable continuous monitoring system in place to monitor and track emissions.

Group General Manager Upstream Gas, Mike Moraza, said: “AGL has made a significant investment in this state-of-the-art monitoring equipment which is currently installed and undergoing testing. It is expected to be fully operational in a week.” This announcement comes after the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) yesterday announced it had fined AGL $1,500 for breaching its licence conditions at its Rosalind Park Gas Plant for failing to maintain its equipment in a proper and efficient manner. This was a result of nitrogen oxide emissions being measured above licence limits for the equivalent of about nine days in September, November and December 2012. The level of average hourly emissions for these months was all below the maximum licence limit.

The EPA has said that it does not consider these exceedances to have caused significant harm to the surrounding community or environment. "While AGL has emitted less than half of its annual nitrogen dioxide load limit in 2012, which was measured at 39,406 kg compared with our annual allowable licence load limit of 103,000 kg of nitrogen oxides, we recognise any exceedances are not acceptable,” said Mr Moraza. “AGL voluntarily reported the incident to the EPA, promptly investigated the cause and rectified the issue. AGL also published the details on our website." AGL is committed to using the best available technology to mitigate and monitor risks associated with our operations.

Based on 2012 annual data, the Rosalind Park Gas Plant contributes less than two percent of the total oxides of nitrogen emissions across the Campbelltown Local Government Area. Motor vehicles remain the largest contributor, accounting for more than 60 percent of total oxides of nitrogen emissions across the Campbelltown Local Government Area. Earlier this month, AGL also announced its implementation of a new fugitive methane emissions monitoring program in the project area.

About AGL

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.