Finding a reliable and long term energy solution

AGL is planning a project that will source gas at competitive prices from Australian and international suppliers for our gas customers in south-eastern Australia. The gas would be transported on liquified natural gas (LNG) ships from interstate and overseas, transferred to another ship and converted from liquid form back into gas on that ship and then piped into the existing transportation network.

The ship, known as a floating storage and regassification unit (FSRU,) that stores the liquid gas would be moored at the existing jetty at Crib Point. Depending on demand, between 12 to 40 LNG ships per year would moor alongside the FSRU at Crib Point to resupply the FSRU with LNG.

The gas import jetty would be connected by pipeline to an existing gas pipeline in Pakenham – the exact length of this pipeline will depend on the route between the jetty and the transmission pipeline but we anticipate that the new pipeline will be approximately 55kms long. The pipeline will be bi-directional allowing gas flow from Pakenham and will be built with valves along the route to facilitate future gas supply to communities. We will also need some plant and equipment for processes such as metering and odorisation to be installed onshore at the jetty.

The current outlook suggests that shipping LNG to south-eastern Australia will provide reliable, long term certainty for our customers and the market.


Location

Crib Point in Victoria has been selected as the preferred site for the import jetty and pipeline to connect to the transmission network.

This location is best placed to serve Victoria – Australia’s largest gas market – as well as take advantage of the existing pipeline network, industrial port facility and associated infrastructure.

A new pipeline will need to be constructed to connect the import jetty at Crib Point to the gas distribution network in Pakenham.


Why import LNG?

AGL does not produce gas for export overseas. We're impacted by the current challenges in sourcing affordable gas to meet the needs of residential and business customers.

If AGL imports gas from interstate and overseas, it will help Australian gas customers by:

  • making gas supply more certain
  • introducing price competition and help put downward pressure on wholesale gas prices
  • allowing gas from Western Australia and the Northern Territory to be imported to the east coast gas market, as these regions are not connected by pipelines
  • reducing the urgency to open more gas fields in Australia.

Contact us

If you would like to register for project updates, express an interest in joining a project Community Advisory Group or would simply like more information on the project please email the project team with your details and AGL will contact you.

Overview
Community
Environment
Documents

In this section


Background

At first glance, it makes little sense for Australia to import gas from international suppliers. Australia is a large exporter of natural gas. Why can't some of this supply be sold on the domestic market?

The reality is more complicated. Australia's gas export trade, together with unanticipated market pressures, has impacted supply and price in our domestic gas market. Now we need to look at other options.

In the mid-2000s, Australian gas producers signed contracts to export gas overseas to meet growing demand in Asia. At that time, prices overseas were much higher than they could charge in Australia. When these contracts to export gas were signed, it was expected the supply of gas in Australia would continue to grow at a rate that would allow for both the domestic and overseas market needs to be met. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case.

Prices in Australia today are often in excess of the price customers in Asia pay. This pressure will continue unless action is taken.


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Latest news

Project update 1 - 8th November 2017

AGL gas import jetty and pipeline project 

Approval to move ahead with pipeline consultation

The Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning has approved the consultation plan for the proposed pipeline route between Crib Point and Pakenham. AGL’s pipeline feasibility project partner APA will now commence the process of consulting with land owners and key stakeholders potentially impacted by the proposed pipeline route and undertake the environmental impact assessments associated with the pipeline.

Environmental impact assessments

 Jetty works - The environmental impact studies for works associated with the jetty and foreshore infrastructure at Crib Point are underway. Consultation drafts of the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, Regulatory Marine Ecosystem Considerations and the Desktop Flora and Fauna Assessment will shortly be available to share with community members and stakeholders.

More work is occurring on noise assessment with baseline noise monitoring being extended to French Island and operational modelling looking at 2 and 4 tug operations.

Further regulatory studies are underway including:

  • Historic Heritage Assessment
  • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Due Diligence Assessment
  • Contaminated Land Assessment
  • Social Impact Assessment

These reports will be shared once completed. Work to assess the impacts of cold water discharge from the FSRU is also currently underway.

Structural review of Crib Point Jetty

The structural review of the Crib Point Jetty has been completed and the remediation steps identified. Discussions have now commenced with Port of Hastings on the engineering and design requirements to complete the necessary remediation works and prepare the jetty to host the FSRU. A detailed project schedule will be developed to submit to the AGL board to review ahead of making a financial decision on the project.

Website updates

The engageagl.com.au website has been updated with a new format to better share information. New FAQS have been added as has a comprehensive fact sheet on Floating Storage and Regassification Units. Details on community events are now also on the website.

For more information on the AGL gas import jetty and pipeline project visit www.engageagl.com.au.

Project update 2 - 2nd February 2018

Community Information sessions

AGL recently held three Community Information Sessions, two in Hastings and one in Cowes, participated in two more session hosted by Local State Member Neil Burgess in Hastings and Blind Bight and one in Crib Point Hosted by the Crib Point Working Group. The sessions were a good opportunity for people to learn more about the project and for AGL to hear the people’s concerns about the new facility being planned for their community. Robust discussions have occurred with a continued focus on industrialisation, local environmental impacts, safety and national energy policy.

AGL has been sharing the findings of the environmental assessment reports that all look at the maximum operating scenarios of the FSRU. While it is crucial the community and regulators understand what the worst-case scenarios for environmental impact are, it is also important to understand what the actual use of the ship will be.

AGL has gone to market to purchase approximately 40 peta joules of LNG per year for five years which equates to 10 – 12 LNG tankers per year. Based on this AGL will develop a ‘Likely Scenario’ model to share with the community.

The likely scenario model will look at the approximate frequency of ship arrivals across the year (e.g high demand and low demand period profiles) and then at what capacity the ship needs to operate during these periods to supply the gas market. The likely scenario model will show the duration at which the FSRU would be running at different capacities e.g 100% 50% 25%. It will then model for these capacities:

  • The cold water and hyper-chloride discharge rates
  • Green-house gas and air emissions profiles
  • Nosie profiles

The ‘Likely Scenario model’ will be a good indication of what the first five years of operation will look like. This will be the focus of community consultation sessions AGL will host.

Next community information session

APA Community Drop-in Session

When: Tuesday 22 May 6pm to 8pm
Where: Nar Nar Goon Soldiers Memorial Hall, 12 Spencer St – Nar Nar Goon

APA is hosting a community drop in session in Cardinia to answer community queries regarding the pipeline project. AGL will also be in attendance.

Regulatory framework

As the gas import jetty involves both shipping, operational plant and a pipeline, there are a range of regulatory bodies who will provide safety oversight to the project.

This includes:

  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)
  • Port of Hasting Development Authority (PoHDA)
  • WorksafeWorkSafe
  • Energy Safe Victoria (ESV)
  • Victorian Regional Chanel Authority (VRCA)
  • Transport Safety Victoria (TSV)
  • Office of Transport Security (Cth)

This topic was briefly discussed at the community information session on 4 April however as the event was running long there was not time to discuss the regulation of the project in detail.

The following diagram shows the relationship between these agencies and the stages of shipping operations, FSRU operations and pipeline operation each agency is responsible for.

Property Data Trend Report

As advised in the previous update, AGL engaged an independent property data consultant to provide a report on the historical house price trends in other towns and suburbs that have comparable facilities in them.

This information has now been obtained and published on the project website. The report looks at the suburbs and towns of Altona, Corio, Hastings, Dandenong, Deer Park, Lang Lang, Laverton North, New Port, Spotswood, West Melbourne and Yarraville. These towns and suburbs have major petroleum, gas, chemical or fertiliser facilities located within their boundaries.

The shows the trend line for median property prices in these suburbs plotted against both the Melbourne and ‘Rest of Victoria’ median historical trends line.

View the report


January 22 Community Information Session

AGL held a community drop in session on Monday 22 January in Hastings which was attended by approximately 200 people. Representatives from AGLs’ Environment and Pipeline teams were in attendance to answer questions.

The event was promoted as a drop-in session however with nearly half the attendees arriving at the start time many people faced lengthy waits to ask questions. People’s patience on the night was appreciated but we are aware there would be people who did not get to ask the questions they would have liked.

Feedback from the night from some residents is they would have preferred a presentation and question and answer format information session. AGL will be holding more community information sessions with the next event to accommodate the requested presentation and Q and A. We are currently looking at late March or early April for the next community session.

In talking with community members on the night there were key themes the community was seeking information on.

Safety

Many people had questions around the safety arrangements of the facility with a focus on fire risk. As the project is in the feasibility stage, the safety arrangements at the facility are still in early development. Discussions with MFB and CFA senior leadership on fire safety arrangements commenced this week. We will provide an update on safety arrangements as a focus of the next community information session and bring representatives from AGL's safety team to the meeting.

Environmental assessment

As discussed at previous engagement sessions AGL is committed to sharing information from our environmental assessments during the feasibility stage. The first of these draft reports will go on to the website over the next two weeks. These draft technical reports address environmental impacts of the FSRU operation and jetty pipeline works. They do not pertain to the onshore facility or pipeline which are the subject of separate technical reports.

The draft reports to be placed online include:

  • Environmental Noise Assessment
  • Green House Gas Assessment
  • Social Impact Assessment
  • Air Quality Impact Assessment
  • Flora and Fauna Assessment
  • Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
  • Aboriginal Heritage Due Diligence Assessment
  • Historic Heritage Assessment

Work to complete the Marine Ecosystem Regulatory Review is still underway with technical reports on cold water plume modelling, chlorine in seawater heat exchange processes and biological entrapment being completed as part of the overarching Marine Ecosystem report.

We will send out another update once these reports are online and include details on what the approval processes for the project are as they relate to the technical reports. Community members are invited to provide feedback, comments or questions on the reports.

Noise

The noise modelling that has been undertaken on the project will be one of the reports placed on line next week. The modelling shows that operation of the FSRU is compliant with recommended noise levels for all operating scenarios during day time hours, including when United Energy is also operating.

During evening and night time operations, noise from tug assisted arrivals of LNG tankers when United Energy is also operating is predicted to exceed the recommended noise levels for evening and night time periods. AGL is looking at mitigation strategies to avoid or manage this, including coordinating operations with United Energy to reduce noise should docking of LNG tankers need to occur at night.

Multiple people have mentioned issues with noise from the existing United Energy facility at Crib Point. If the project proceeds, AGL will be co-located at the site with United Energy and we are examining whether we can develop some noise attenuation measures at the site that will assist with this issue.

Property prices

Concerns were raised by several residents on the potential effects the FSRU may have on property prices in Crib Point. In an endeavor to assess whether there may be an impact on property prices, AGL has engaged a property data consultancy to provide a report on the historical house price trends in other towns and suburbs that have comparable facilities in them. This data will be compared to state trends in property price rises and should provide a guide to any historical impacts such facilities have had on property prices. This report will be shared with the community.

Crib Point to Pakenham Pipeline

Work to finalise the preferred pipeline route is making good progress. The section between Crib Point and Hastings has been firmed up and the project team was able to provide details on the preferred route option through Hastings on Monday night at the drop-in session. Work is still occurring to finalize the route from Hastings to Pakenham. AGL’s pipeline development partner APA is currently engaging with all potential land owners who may be affected by the proposed pipeline route.

Crib Point Jetty remediation works

The Port of Hastings Development Authority is preparing to commence remediation works on the Crib Point Jetty to allow the continuous mooring of an FSRU vessel and visiting LNG carriers should AGL proceed with the project. The repair works will remediate the decommissioned berth 2 at the southern end of the Crib Point Jetty making it available for use by the Port Authority. Users of Western Port can expect to see remediation activity on the jetty site commencing in March/April this year.

For more information on the project visit www.engageagl.com.au or call Jay Gleeson on 0499 027 630.

Project update 3 - 3rd May 2018

Project technical reports now online

In advance of upcoming community information sessions and formal regulatory processes AGL has now published the draft FSRU technical reports on the project website for community review and feedback.

The reports online now include:

  • Environmental Noise Assessment
  • Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
  • Air Quality Impact Assessment
  • Historic Heritage Assessment
  • Contaminated Land Assessment
  • Hydrology Impact Assessment
  • Assessment of Effects of Cold Water Discharge on the Marine Environment
  • Chlorine in Seawater Heat Exchange Process at Crib Point
  • Modelling and Assessment of Biological Entrainment into Seawater Heat Exchange System

The following reports will also be published over the coming weeks as they are completed.

  • Desktop Flora and Fauna Assessment
  • Aboriginal Heritage Due Diligence Assessment
  • Social Impact Assessment
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment
  • Plume Discharge from the LNG Facility at Crib Point
  • Marine Integrated Report

Please note that these are working drafts, and may be subject to change prior to submission. They have been prepared on the basis of the design and engineering work as part of the feasibility studies, in advance of formal commercial arrangements being in place with FSRU operators or the final construction methodology being agreed.

These studies do not cover the pipeline between Crib Point and Pakenham, which is being developed separately by APA. We will keep the community updated on progress of the pipeline, including timing of applications to be lodged by APA for approvals under State and Commonwealth legislation.

What happens next?

Once all the reports are complete AGL plans to lodge a referral to the Minister for Planning, who will make an assessment to determine whether an EES is required for the FSRU.

Prior to submitting the Referral, AGL welcomes any comments or questions on the draft FSRU studies. Please email any comments to the project Community Relations Manager, Jay Gleeson.

What other key approvals are required for the FSRU?

Information from the independent specialist studies provided above will also be used to support the following applications for the FSRU:

  • Referral to the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
  • Application for a Works Approval to the Victorian EPA under the Environment Protection Act 1970

These applications are currently being prepared, and we will keep you updated as to when you will have an opportunity to review and provide any feedback.

In addition, there are a number of other Acts which are relevant to the design, construction and operation of the FSRU, including:

  • Coastal Management Act 1995
  • Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006
  • Port Management Act 1995
  • Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 2004 and Regulations 2017

The requirements of relevant legislation will be addressed throughout the FSRU facility development.

Upcoming community engagement events

AGL has three community information sessions coming up over the next four weeks. Please note the formats and the topics of each session.

Community Drop in Session - Cowes

When: Thursday 15 March 2018, 6pm to 8pm
Where: Cowes Cultural Centre

AGL is hosting a drop-in information session at Cowes Cultural Centre. Representatives from AGL, and environmental consultant’s Jacobs will be on hand to provide information on the project, hear any concerns or ideas and answer any questions community members may have. There will be no formal presentation so community members can stop by at any time during the session.

AGL Technical Forum

When: Tuesday 27 March, 6pm to 8pm
Where: Hastings Hall, 3 High Street Hastings

This event will be attended by the specialist who completed the technical reports for the FSRU operation, most of which are now online. There will be no formal presentation, rather it is an opportunity for people with an interest in understanding the more detailed aspects of the technical reports in terms of modelling methodology, impact assessments and regulatory obligations to ask questions of the experts who produced the reports.

AGL Project Presentation - Hastings

When: Wednesday 4 April 2018 6pm to 8pm
Where: Hastings Community Hall, 3 High Street Hastings

AGL will provide a general presentation on the project followed by a question and answer session. AGL’s safety and security team will be in attendance to provide advice on the project’s safety arrangements. There will be a formal presentation commencing at 6pm.

Pipeline update

AGL’s pipeline partner is currently in the field discussing the proposed pipeline route with affected landowners. The process to finalize a pipeline route is substantial and it is not expected the survey part of the planning process will be completed until late April.

Following this there is a period of easement negotiations with landowners that would run for at least six months before AGL or APA could make an application for a license to build a pipeline. Should the project proceed this application will be made towards the end of 2018.

Like the FSRU operation, a range of technical environmental reports need to be completed for a referral to the Minister for Planning for a determination on whether an EES is required and the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Project update 4 - 29th June 2018

Extension to submission deadline

In response to requests from community members the deadline for submissions on the projects environmental studies has been extended until Thursday 19 July. For those who would like to make a submission regarding the project please email Jay Gleeson on the details below.

Please note the submission process is not the end of consultation with the community and more events will be organised within the community in the coming months to share more details of the project and listen to feedback.

Review of Vapour Cloud explosion and BLEVE Risk

During recent community engagement events and conversations within the community, a number of people have raised concerns regarding a BLEVE explosion at the facility. A BLEVE is a “Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion” and occurs when a vessel or tank holding pressurised liquid reaches temperatures above its boiling point.

Much of this concern seems to have come from a report found online; Fire and Explosion Risk Analysis and Evaluation for LNG Ships authored by students or staff of a University in Guangzhou in China. To address these concerns, international shipping risk assessors DNV-GL was engaged to provide an independent peer review of the paper and provide some advice on its findings and risk of explosions onboard FSRUs.

DNV-GL found that the report contained a number of errors in terms of its assumptions and calculations. It was based on calculations of a pressure tank similar to an LPG gas tank and not on an LNG cryogenic tank, which is structurally different and does not store liquid under pressure. It found that the scenario of an explosion with a 2.3km radius described in this paper cannot occur on a FSRU.

We have placed the technical memo Review of Vapour Cloud Explosion and BLEVE Risk, online for the community’s review. If you have any concerns with this issue, please do not hesitate to contact the project on the details below.

Changes to project website

You may be aware that AGL has been running a project website www.engageagl.com.au that replicates the information on the AGL Corporate site www.agl.com.au/cribpoint.

Going forward the project information will updated on a single website with the engageagl site being redirected to the corporate site. All content that is housed on both sites will be maintained on the www.agl.com.au/cribpoint site.

Contact

To make a submission in regards to the project’s environmental reports, request a briefing session or for more information on the project please contact Jay Gleeson AGL Stakeholder and Communication Manager on jgleeson@agl.com.au or phone 0499 027 630.

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Project risks and delivery

A feasibility study is currently underway to identify the risks associated with the Crib Point Project. This is being done in conjunction with the formal regulatory planning and assessment requirements.

Like all big industrial and resources projects, the gas import jetty will carry some risks. The key is to identify, minimise and manage the risks to the greatest extent possible. We believe it’s essential we are upfront about these risks, especially with the community and the project’s neighbours.

There are economic, commercial and regulatory risks. For instance, if the supply or price of gas in Australia or overseas changes to a great degree, the project might become unviable. The viability of the project may also be impacted if the regulatory environment at a State or Federal level changes.

Environmental risks are currently being identified, such as any impact on marine ecology, RAMSAR, water birds, seagrass and mangroves, emissions, air, water and noise. Our plan is to discuss any identified environmental risks with relevant specialists, consultants and community members to determine if mitigation or elimination solutions can be developed and implemented.

The FSRU will have specific risks (such as environmental and safety risks) which we will need to understand and manage. Please refer to our Fact Sheet for further detail on the FSRU.

If the project gains its required regulatory approvals and ‘final investment’ approval is granted by the AGL Energy Board, the first deliveries of imported gas could happen early in 2020. This would be just in time to meet the peak winter demand.

This timeframe would require that the project progresses smoothly. The various project elements include preparing the site, sourcing the FSRU, securing suitable LNG supplies, procuring and installing the necessary structures, plant and equipment, and the construction of the pipeline. We anticipate the pipeline construction and jetty upgrades would take at least 18 months to complete.

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About the FSRU

A Floating Storage and Regasification Unit or FSRU is a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage ship. FSRUs are usually continuousy moored at a jetty. In this case, the location for the FSRU would be Crib Point.

The vessel has an onboard regasification plant capable of returning super-chilled LNG back into a gaseous state and supplying it directly to the gas network via a pipeline connection. On board, the LNG is stored at a temperature of -161°C in cryogenic storage tanks. The cold temperature keeps the LNG cargo in its liquid state until it is required for the gas network.

When it’s time to convert the liquid back into a gas, seawater could be used to warm the LNG and return it to a gaseous state. The heater is usually a ‘tube and shell’ heat exchanger, where water is pumped around the shell of the heat exchanger and LNG passes through tubes. The difference in temperature between the inlet seawater and outlet seawater is approximately 7°C, which then blends back to ambient temperature.

An FSRU typically discharges gas into the network at a pressure of around 60–80 Bar and at 5°C. Working at full capacity, a 170,000 m3 cargo could be regasified in about six days.

When the FSRU needs to be refilled, a second LNG tanker will moor alongside the FSRU and decant its load of LNG into the FSRU. It’s anticipated up to 40 LNG tankers (depending on demand) would refill the FSRU in a 12-month period.

Refer to the AGL Fact Sheet for more information on:

  • ship dimensions and performance
  • potential environmental impacts
  • risks and advantages of their use
  • use of ballast water.

View the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) Fact Sheet.

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Environmental Referrals

AGL is currently preparing to lodge a referral to the Minister for Planning, who will make an assessment to determine whether an EES is required for the FSRU. The project will also make a Referral to the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and an Application for a Works Approval to the Victorian EPA under the Environment Protection Act 1970.

AGL and APA’s state and Federal applications will include detailed assessments of the indirect and cumulative effects of both projects. Together, we will ensure that the overall impacts of both projects are assessed as a whole, with the links clearly demonstrated.

The applications will be submitted at a similar time so that those assessing the projects will have access to all of the necessary information from both projects.

This will result in a comprehensive, integrated and transparent assessment of both projects, collectively.

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FAQs

Will the Federal Government's gas export controls remove the gas supply problem?

The Government mechanism has been designed as an emergency measure to supply gas to the east coast of Australia during periods of gas shortages.

It does not assist with the long term contracting of gas that is fundamental to supplying customers with gas contracts.

Is this LNG project just swapping coal for gas to generate electricity?

We are committed to renewable energy. And as the cost of renewable energy from sources like wind and solar continues to decline, it becomes the cheapest source of energy even without subsidies.

To compliment renewable energy and ensure a reliable electricity system, flexible plants, such as fast-start gas turbines, hydroelectric dams or batteries, are also required.

Today, it is cheaper to replace an old coal plant with a combination of renewables and gas peaking capacity, even with the current high gas prices. Importing gas will reduce the cost of generating this complimentary firming capacity.

How much would the project reduce gas prices?

The cost of gas delivered through this project will be dependent on the international price of gas.

Our vision is that the east coast of Australia should never again face the situation where Australians are paying significantly more for Australian gas than their overseas competitors, as is the current situation.

Does the project carry risks?

Like all big industrial and resources projects, the Crib Point Project will carry some risks. The key is to identify, minimise and manage the risks to the greatest extent possible. At AGL we believe it’s essential we are upfront about risks, especially with a project’s neighbours.

There are economic and commercial risks. For instance, if the supply or price of gas here or overseas changes to a great degree, the project might become unviable.

Environmental risks are currently being identified and will be carefully managed. We will prepare for and manage risks to water and air quality, minimise risks to flora and fauna, as well as minimise noise associated with the ship and the onshore equipment. For this project, there is a lower risk of spills, as LNG ships typically operate on gas engines rather than heavy oil.

Safety risks will also require careful management. Under specific and very unlikely conditions, LNG has the potential to explode and burn.

Fortunately, very few incidents have occurred at LNG import terminals. There are currently hundreds of LNG ships safely operating and these risks are well understood and managed. The LNG ships that will transport the gas incorporate advanced safety measures.

We always put safety first. We will apply the world’s best safety practices for the operation of the gas import jetty and use independent experts to verify the design.

How was the proposed route for the pipeline selected?

Developing a potential pipeline involves a number of steps and assessment criteria before a decision can be made on the route. For the Crib Point to Pakenham pipeline (CPP), there were several route options that were initially assessed.

The process of selecting the route involves an initial review using geospatial data (e.g. satellite imagery, GPS) supported by on-the-ground observation (from outside private property) to develop a preferred profile to assess.

Each route option is assessed against the following criteria:

  • environmental considerations such as the extent of reserves, conservation areas, waterways and watercourses, areas of environmental sensitivity, flora and fauna, and areas of endangered and threatened ecological communities and habitats
  • the number of roads and railways and their coexistence with other utilities
  • the number and type of third-party infrastructure
  • public and worker safety
  • native title claims and sites and areas of known cultural heritage significance
  • the logistics for construction and operation and the terrain complexity and difficulty
  • land use and land tenure, including the number of privately-owned properties and land usage types intersected (e.g. residential homes, farms)
  • length.

Following this process, a preferred route is selected and submitted to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, along with a consultation plan for engagement with potentially affected landowners for approval. Once approval is received, then and only then can the pipeline developers consult with property owners to gain access to the proposed route. This is necessary to undertake the survey work required to finalise the pipeline route.

The proposed route was selected as it minimises the impacts on existing and future land. The proposed route also maximises the use of existing easements and avoids heavily congested road reserves, rail yards and future residential development east of Pakenham. Although the proposed route is not the shortest overall route to the network entry point in Pakenham, it has the least impact on orchards, vineyards and hobby farms and avoids the Trust for Nature property, the Ted Harris walk.

Will land be compulsorily acquired for the pipeline?

We will not build the pipeline itself. Instead, we will engage a pipeline developer to do this work.

Part of our pipeline partner’s work will be to minimise the impact and to engage with any affected landholders to secure access. In some circumstances, a pipeline developer may be given the right to compulsorily acquire or access land.

Will the pipeline impact the RAMSAR wetlands?

One of the reasons for selecting the Crib Point jetty as the preferred site is because it has an existing working port and jetty and pipeline easements. This means we don’t need to build new marine facilities or prepare any shore crossings.

We are aware of the RAMSAR wetland area in and around Crib Point. There may also be other environmentally sensitive areas along the pipeline corridor.

We will work with both the community and government to avoid or mitigate any adverse impact in these areas. This may include engineering solutions such as drilling the pipeline path rather than digging a trench. Where trenching is used, the land will be remediated so there are no ongoing impacts to landowners.

What studies are AGL undertaking as part of the feasibility study?

We have a group of specialists assessing the impacts of the works that are to be undertaken at the port. This includes cultural heritage, ecology, noise, air quality, hydrology, traffic, visual impact and marine science.

For example, our marine scientists are currently investigating, studying and reviewing information in line with regulatory requirements and questions raised by local communities and interest groups. Once we understand the impacts, we can develop mitigation strategies, engineering solutions or alternative solutions to address impacts.

One area we are currently investigating is the impact of the FSRU. For instance, sea water is used to warm the LNG in a heat exchange unit and return LNG to a gaseous state. The water is returned to the ocean cooler than the ambient water temperature.

The area the cold water is returned to the ocean is called the mixing zone. We are studying this zone to determine any impact on marine life and the environment, and what levels of water and temperature are acceptable. We will determine at what point cold water will have mixed sufficiently with the sea water and will return to the temperature of the surrounding seawater.

Will there be an environmental effect study (EES) produced for the project?

We have engaged independent specialists to prepare studies to support a referral under the Environment Effects Act 1978. The Victorian Minister for Planning will then make an assessment to determine whether an Environment Effects Statement (EES) is required.

The following studies have been prepared by specialists to support the EES referral.

Online now:

We will publish the remaining draft studies (listed below) as soon as they become available prior to submitting the EES referral.

  • Plume Discharge from the LNG Facility at Crib Point
  • Marine Integrated Report
Who will be responsible for regulating the safety of the Gas Import Jetty Project?

As the gas import jetty project involves shipping, operational plant and a small section of pipeline, there are a range of regulatory bodies who will provide safety oversight to the project, including:

  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)
  • Port of Hasting Development Authority (PoHDA)
  • Worksafe Victoria
  • Victorian Regional Channels Authority (VRCA)
  • Transport Safety Victoria (TSV)/Maritime Safety Victoria (MSV)
  • Office of Transport Security (Cth)
  • Harbour Master (HM)

This diagram shows the relationship between these agencies and the various elements of the project.

The Crib Point to Pakenham transmission pipeline, to be operated by a pipeline operator rather than AGL and which is not part of the project, is included in the diagram for information purposes only.

Will the import jetty affect access to the foreshore for pedestrians or areas around the jetty for recreational users?

The exclusion zone required for the Crib Point Project will affect access to the foreshore.

The Crib Point jetty currently has an exclusion zone around it for operations of the United Energy berth (Berth 1). The permanent mooring of the FSRU at the jetty would see a more rigid enforcement of exclusion zones than currently exists, although the final make-up of the exclusion zone has not been determined.

As the FSRU would be moored more than 500 m off the shoreline, we do not anticipate that existing access to Wooley’s Beach Reserve will be impacted.

To the north of the jetty, an area approximately 90 m wide will be fenced along the foreshore to accommodate the metering station compound. This would impact current access to the beach immediately adjacent to the jetty, which is currently included in the port exclusion zone.

We anticipate that access to the remainder of the beach (including the beach locally referred to as ‘shelly beach’) would still be available via the submarine viewing access track off the esplanade.

Where else do FSRUs operate?

There are approximately 22 FSRUs in operation internationally with their use spread across Asia, the Middle East, the South Americas and Africa.

The closest FSRU operations to Australia are two FSRUs located in Indonesia.

Will ballast water be discharged into Western Port Bay?

The LNG Jetty at Crib Point is for unloading only and there are no plans to export LNG. Ships will arrive full of LNG and will not need to discharge ballast water. Rather, they will take on ballast water in Westernport as they unload their cargo.

All ships, even with full cargo, may have remnants of Ballast water on board as the bottom ballast tanks have an unpumpable ballast spread. To manage this, ballast water is exchanged at sea at least 200 miles offshore and in greater than 200 m water depth. This ensures the removal of any aquatic organisms and tanks are backfilled with clean ballast. It is this clean ‘deep ocean’ water that would remain in the tanks from discharge at the time of LNG loading.

Operations at Crib Point are not expected to commence until 2020 or 2021. We expect that the FSRU will have been fitted with a suitable ballast water treatment system in compliance with the International Maritime Organization Ballast Water Management Convention, which came into force on 8th September 2017.

At Crib Point, the FSRU will take ballast from Westernport and return ballast to Westernport as necessary to control the stresses on the ship’s hull. The FSRU will not need to take full ballast as it is always in a ‘harbour condition’ and not exposed to ongoing seagoing stresses. That means the amount of ballast being pumped by the ship is also reduced.

How many jobs will be created by the project?

We anticipate the project will directly create approximately 40 new jobs on an ongoing basis once the project is operational. These roles will relate to running the ship and the regasification process, as well as security and support. It is our preference to prioritise local employment if there are suitable candidates.

Jobs will also be created during the construction phase of the project. The majority of the construction workforce will be specialists sourced from Victoria and interstate. Opportunities for local suppliers and employment will include a range of general trade and support services, such as:

  • vegetation management, such as clearing, mulching and rehabilitation
  • fencing contractors
  • grading, dozing and excavating
  • water truck driving.

We require our partners and contractors to prioritise local procurement and employment where commercially competitive suppliers exist. Where available, local suppliers will also be prioritised for general bulk construction materials, such as fencing materials, water tanks and geofabric.

Will there be noise from the FSRU?

Like all industrial projects the gas import jetty will create noise and it is important we understand what the impact of that noise may be on the local community. As part of the feasibility study AGL undertook a noise assessment of the operational noise of the FSRU and the associated on-shore facility to assess compliance with EPA’s Noise Control Guidelines.

Noise sources for the project include the regassification processes and running noise of the FSRU, visiting LNG tankers, tug boats and the on-shore plant. United Energy operations at Berth 1 also produce noise and this has been included in noise assessments.

The operation of the FSRU is expected to be quite variable depending on gas demand, for example during high gas periods there may be periods where it is operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at times of lower demand it many only run 12 hours a day Monday to Friday or the FSRU may act as a storage facility and not re-gasify for extended periods.

Likewise, the amount of LNG tankers arriving each year would vary between 12 and 40 ships.

Noise modelling was undertaken for residences in Crib Point and French Island. The assessment shows that operation of the FSRU is compliant with EPA recommended noise levels for all operating scenarios during day time hours, including when United Energy is also operating.

During evening and night time operations, noise from tug assisted arrivals of LNG tankers when United Energy is also operating is predicted to exceed the recommended noise levels for evening and night time periods. AGL is looking at mitigation strategies to avoid this, including coordinating operations with United Energy to reduce noise should docking of LNG tankers need to occur at night.

More information can be found in the full assessment and Noise Assessment fact sheet.

Does the FSRU produce pollution?

LNG is a fossil fuel, as such the operation of the FSRU produces air emissions. To understand what these air emissions may be an Air Quality Impact Assessment report has been completed for FSRU operations.

The assessment was undertaken in accordance with Victoria’s State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management) and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria guidelines for use of the regulatory model ‘AERMOD’. Senior EPA air quality specialists were consulted about the data and methodology used to complete the assessment.

The report assessed two possible fuel types for FSRU operation gas fueled and liquid fueled. It should be noted that the FSRU will most likely use gas fuel (boil off of the LNG cargo) for combustion in the power plant engines. Liquid fuel (marine gas oil – MGO) would be used in back-up circumstances and is included in the modelling for completeness.

The AERMOD results for the gas-fuelled and liquid (diesel)-fuelled FSRU scenarios demonstrated there were no exceedances of State Environment Protection Policy (Air Quality Management) (SEPP(AQM)) Design Criteria at any of the discrete receptors, for any of the pollutants.

The nearest off-site sensitive receiver (resident) to the main FSRU gas processing area at Berth 2 is located approximately 1.5 kilometres from the project.

The AERMOD modelling assessment of the FSRU scenarios demonstrated there were no exceedances of SEPP(AQM) Design Criteria for nearly all grid points over land, with most exceedances occurring around the FSRU, and off-shore. These results for ‘low risk’ exceedances, primarily off-shore, were obtained for the pollutants: NO2 (for which conservative measures were taken in the assessment), SO2, PM10, and PM2.5.

There were no exceedances for any of the grid receptors for any of the higher risk Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) tested by modelling; benzene, formaldehyde, and PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).

The general conclusion of the air quality modelling assessment is there is a low risk of air quality impact from the project’s FSRU and LNG carrier operations for on-shore sensitive receptors near Crib Point.

More information can be found in the full assessment and Air Emissions fact sheet.

How much Greenhouse gas does the FSRU produce?

As methane (the gas state of LNG) is a fossil fuel the facility will produce greenhouse gas emissions.

A Greenhouse Gas Emission Assessment was undertaken on FSRU operations to assess whether operation of the FSRU produces less greenhouse gas (GHG) than the 200,000 t CO2-e per annum trigger for a referral under the Environment Effects Act 1978.

As such the report looks at the highest possible levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission should the FRSU operate with 52 LNG tankers per year and a calculation for the theoretical maximum the ship could operate at if there was no down time (78 LNG tankers).

The actual regasification operation of the vessel is expected to be quite variable depending on gas demand, for example during high gas demand there may be periods where it is operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at times of lower demand it many only run 12 hours a day Monday to Friday or the FSRU may act as a storage facility and not re-gasify for extended periods.

Likewise, the amount of LNG tankers arriving each year would vary between 12 and 40 ships. Hence the actual greenhouse gas emission are expected to be far lower than the scenarios assessed for this report.

The key GHG emissions for the FSRU facility are related to the consumption of natural gas by four reciprocating engines and gas fired boilers on board the FSRU. These engines will provide all power for the facility, i.e. general utility power, as well as for gas processing equipment to enable the vaporization and pressurization of the gas before it is delivered to the gas transmission pipeline.

The assessment found that under all model scenarios greenhouse gases a are below 200,000 t CO2-e. I

Read the Greenhouse gas fact sheet.

Why are works commencing at the jetty prior to AGL making a decision on proceeding with the projects?

Should the project go ahead the remediation work at berth 2 on the Crib Point Jetty would need to be ready for gas import works to commence in the summer of 2018/19. That is why works are commencing in early 2018. The repair works will remediate berth two at the Crib Point Jetty making it available for use by the Port Authority regardless of whether the Gas Import Jetty Project proceeds.

How safe is the gas transmission pipeline?

To ensure the safety of landowners and communities, all gas transmission pipelines in Australia are designed, constructed, tested, operated and maintained in strict accordance with Australian Standard AS2885 – Pipelines – Gas and Liquid Petroleum. This standard puts public safety at the forefront of decision-making, and ensures the safety of the community, protection of the environment and security of gas supply to users.

The Standard requires pipeline operators to undertake extensive investigations to identify, document and control any threats to pipeline along their entire length. Every pipeline is designed to take account of the known and proposed land uses and the likely risks in the range of environments through which they pass.

In a global context the Australian pipeline industry’s safety record is impeccable. There have been no recorded injuries or fatalities associated with pipeline damage in Australia, and incident rates are an order of magnitude lower than overseas.

Contact

Please get in touch for more information about this project.

Contact: Jay Gleeson, Community Relations Manager
Phone: 0499 027 630
Email: jgleeson@agl.com.au



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In this section


Overview

We are engaging with community groups and residents from the Western Port area during the feasibility stage. And we are committed to sharing the reports produced from the feasibility study and regulatory approval process.

We always try to support the communities in which we work. One of the ways we may offer support is developing a new energy project for the community. For example, this might be a solar and battery system for a local building or project.

We also set up community funds in the areas we operate in. How the fund will be managed will be finalised in collaboration with the local community. See the ‘Community Fund’ section for more.

To receive updates on the project, refer to the below ‘contact’ section.

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Upcoming events

AGL Gas Import Jetty Drop-in Information Sessions

AGL is hosting project information sessions at six different locations in September.

At these informal sessions, members of the community can stop by and speak with the AGL team, plus representatives from our partners in this project – including:

  • APA – Pipeline partner
  • Jacobs and CEE – Environmental advisors to AGL
  • Port of Hastings Development Authority
  • Harbour Master
  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority
  • DNV-GL – International accredited register and shipping classification society

These experts can speak to you about:

  • Environmental technical reports for the FSRU and pipeline
  • Ship classification, LNG safety, and the risk assessment process
  • Shipping and mooring arrangements within Western Port
  • Australian regulation of shipping
  • The pipeline route including detailed assessments of route options and construction impacts

Locations

Flinders

When: Friday 7 September, 7pm
Where: Flinders Hall, 54-56 Cook Street, Flinders

Cowes

When: Thursday 13 September, 7pm to 9pm
Where: Cowes Cultural Centre, 91 Thompson Ave, Cowes

Somers

When: Saturday 15 September, 12pm-2pm
Where: RW Stone Pavilion, 68 Camp Hill Road, Somers

Hastings

When: Tuesday 18 September, 7pm-9pm
Where: Hastings Hall, 3 High Street Hastings

Tooradin

When: Friday 21 September, 7pm-9pm
Where: Tooradin Public Hall, 11 Tooradin Station Road, Tooradin

Crib Point

When: Tuesday 25 September, 7pm-9pm
Where: Crib Point Community Hall, 7 Park Road, Crib Point


Community Fund

If the Crib Point project proceeds, AGL will immediately put in place a $7.5 million Community Fund which would be managed by a panel of local community members.

While an LNG Import Jetty would add more gas supply for Victoria, we recognise that we need to share some of the benefits with the local community. We don’t expect the community to support the project in return, we just hope that sharing the benefits will make it a fairer outcome for the local community.

How the funds would be distributed and on what community needs hasn’t been fully decided. We want the fund to be run and led by the local community to address concerns they themselves identify in their own communities.

Local residents who would like to express their interest in being part of the Community Fund panel should contact us.


Contact

For more information about the project or to register for project updates, please get in touch.

Contact:  Jay Gleeson, Community Relations Manager

Phone:  0499 027 630

Email: CribPoint@agl.com.au


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Overview

Environmental risks are currently being assessed. Once identified, we plan to work with relevant specialists, consultants and community members to determine mitigation or elimination solutions that can be developed and implemented.

For more information about the potential impacts of the FSRU, view the FSRU Fact Sheet.

Technical reports

FSRU

The following draft reports are being provided for community review and feedback as part of AGL’s broader community consultation program:

Online now:

Please note that these are working drafts, and may be subject to change prior to submission. They have been prepared based upon the design and engineering work completed as part of the feasibility studies, in advance of formal commercial arrangements being in place with FSRU owners or the final construction methodology being agreed.

These studies do not cover the pipeline between Crib Point and Pakenham, which is being developed separately by APA. We will keep the community updated on progress of the pipeline, including timing of applications to be lodged by APA for approvals under State and Commonwealth legislation.

What other key approvals are required for the FSRU?

Information from the independent specialist studies provided above will also be used to support the following applications for the FSRU:

In addition, there are a number of other Acts which are relevant to the design, construction and operation of the FSRU, including:

  • Coastal Management Act 1995
  • Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006
  • Port Management Act 1995
  • Biosecurity Amendment (Ballast Water and Other Measures) Act 2017
  • Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 2004 and Regulations 2017

The requirements of relevant legislation will be addressed throughout the FSRU.

SAFETY

Review of Vapour Cloud Explosion and Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion (BLEVE) risk:

At a Community engagement session, a community member presented a paper discussing the risk of BLEVE. To address this concern, DNV GL was engaged to provide an independent peer review of the content and assumptions used within the academic paper titled “Fire and explosion risk analysis and evaluation for LNG ships LI Jianhuaa, HUANG Zhenghuab”, which incorrectly advised a BLEVE explosion could occur on an FSRU with a blast radius of 2.3km.

PRESENTATIONS

FACT SHEETS