Natural gas was sent to AGL’s Newcastle Gas Storage Facility (NGSF) for the first time this week, marking the start of the commissioning phase.

The first gas follows 950 days of construction. AGL is on-track to deliver the fully operational $310 million gas storage facility by mid-2015, as anticipated.

Located at Tomago, the NGSF will enhance gas security of supply in the Newcastle/Hunter region. The 1.5-petajoule LNG storage tank will be used to support local gas supplies during times of peak demand and provide, if there was a major interruption to NSW gas supplies, the storage capability for up to two weeks of gas for the Greater Newcastle region.

AGL’s NGSF Construction Project Manager, Tim Knill, said the arrival of first gas was “another major milestone for a project that will become an important energy asset in the Newcastle-Hunter region”.

“We remain on-track to deliver a fully operational facility by mid-year,” Mr Knill said.

“It's been a very complex infrastructure project and this milestone represents the culmination of over six years of dedicated hard work by our teams.”

Last year, in what was a major engineering spectacle, the massive 450 tonne dome of the facility's storage tank was raised from the ground to its final height of 40 metres. 

In addition to the arrival of gas, the NGSF project team has achieved more than one million man-hours without a lost-time injury.

“Our commitment to safe controls and management of activities will continue to be a priority as we progressively introduce gas and electricity to site,” he said.

“We will initially commission the flare, fuel gas and pre-treatment systems before moving onto the liquefaction system.” 

The official opening of the NGSF is expected to be in June 2015.

About AGL

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated energy companies and is the largest ASX listed owner, operator and developer of renewable energy generation in the country. Drawing on over 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 taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for investors, communities and customers.