Finding a reliable and long-term energy solution

AGL is proposing to develop a project that will source gas at competitive prices from international suppliers for our customers in south-eastern Australia.

The gas would be transported on Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) ships most likely from overseas, transferred to another ship and converted from liquid form back into gas on that ship and then piped into the Victorian Gas 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 on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. 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 proposed gas import jetty would be connected by a new gas pipeline approximately 57km long, into the Victorian gas network east of Pakenham. The pipeline would be developed and constructed by APA Group.

AGL and APA are jointly preparing an Environment Effects Statement (EES) under the Victorian Environment Effects Act 1978 to assess how the proposed Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project could affect the environment and how any potential negative impacts could be managed.


Location

AGL chose Crib Point Jetty as the preferred project location after evaluating eight possible locations in Australia’s southern states.

Crib Point is best placed to serve Victoria – Australia’s largest gas market – by minimising the distance that gas needs to be transported, resulting in lower end-use costs for the customer.

The Port of Hastings is a commercial port within Western Port, with a maintained shipping channel and facility at Crib Point Jetty. The Crib Point Jetty is currently operating as a working industrial site with one of the two berths being used to import liquid fuels.

Western Port is also an environmentally sensitive area. A large portion of it – 59,297 hectares – is designated a Ramsar site under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. It is the third most important area for wading birds, in Victoria. Western Port incorporates three marine national parks. UNESCO declared it a biosphere reserve, further underscoring its environmental, social and economic value.

AGL recognises the unique environmental significance of Western Port and will follow all assessment requirements deemed necessary by the government and regulatory bodies and is willing to be held to these standards. If the potential environment effects cannot be acceptably addressed the project would not go ahead.


Why import LNG?

AGL does not produce gas for export overseas. AGL is impacted by the current challenges in sourcing affordable gas to meet the needs of our 1.4m residential and business gas customers.

Historically, Australia’s southern states have received much of its supply from gas sources in the Gippsland and Otway Basins offshore Victoria in Bass Strait. AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) have published studies in March 2019 showing that unless the market can identify new gas sources to supply Australia’s southern states, a supply shortfall will hit from around 2024 with potential shortfall on high demand days as soon as 2021.

The AEMO report also highlighted that within the next five years, domestic gas demand, particularly in the southern states, will exceed supply without either:

  • New southern resources coming into the market;
  • New gas supplies delivered via LNG import terminal, or
  • Major pipeline infrastructure expansions to deliver Queensland and Northern Territory gas southwards, or
  • A combination of all three.

In 2019, Australia became the world’s largest exporter of LNG, but most of this gas comes from Queensland and Western Australia far from the main domestic markets in Australia’s southern states.

The gas pipeline network connecting Queensland to Victoria lacks enough capacity to supply gas during future peak winter demand periods. On top of the lack of pipeline capacity, securing gas from Queensland is made more difficult because many producers are bound by long-term contracts to sell gas to international customers.


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.

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.



Latest news

While the project undergoes the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process, find the latest news on our EES page.

Community updates prior to the EES process starting are below.

Project Update 8: 30 November 2018

Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project

Environment Effects Statement (EES)

Public comment is invited on the draft Scoping Requirements for the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project EES.

AGL and APA are proposing to respectively undertake the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project to import liquefied natural gas at Crib Point and transfer it to the Victorian Transmission System east of Pakenham via a new high-pressure pipeline.

The Victorian Minister for Planning has determined that an EES is required under the Environment Effects Act 1978 for the proposed project.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has prepared draft Scoping Requirements to set out the matters that will be investigated and documented by AGL and APA as part of the EES process.

A copy of the draft Scoping Requirements can be downloaded from DELWP’s website or viewed in person at the State Library of Victoria.

The draft Scoping Requirements are open for public comment until midnight on 19 December 2018.

Any comments received will be considered by DELWP during the finalisation of the Scoping Requirements and will be treated as public documents.

Written comments can be posted to:

Impact Assessment Unit, Planning
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
PO Box 500, East Melbourne Vic 8002

or emailed to environment.assessment@delwp.vic.gov.au.

For more information about the EES process visit DELWP’s website or contact the Impact Assessment Unit on (03) 8392 5470 (Monday to Friday).

For more information about the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project EES visit agl.com.au/agl-apa-environment-effects-statement or contact:

AGL Gas Import Jetty
Phone: 1800 039 600
Email: AGLCommunity@agl.com.au

APA Crib Point Pakenham Pipeline
Phone: 1800 531 811
Email: cribpointpakenham@apa.com.au

Project update 7: 11 October 2018

Invitation for Public Comment on EPBC Referrals

Following receipt of AGL and APA’s referrals under the EPBC Act, the referrals and attachments have been published on the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment and Energy’s (DoEE) website for public comment.

Any person may give the Minister comments on the referral within 10 business days (with no extensions) of publication on DoEE’s website.

Deadline for comment on the referral is 24 October 2018.

A decision on whether a proposed action requires approval will be made within 20 business days. The outcome of the decision will be made publicly available on the department’s EPBC – Public Notices webpage.

The PDF documents which may be accessed via the Invitations to Comment screen are complete copies of the referral.

All public comments will be considered by the decision maker. However, DoEE cannot guarantee that all comments will be acknowledged or responded to.

If making comment, see DoEE’s guidance on how to comment on referrals.

EES Referral decision

The Victorian Minister for Planning Richard Wynne announced on Monday that the proposed AGL Gas Import Jetty Project and APA’s Crib Point Pakenham Pipeline will undergo a full Environmental Effects Statement (EES).

Read the Minister’s media release.

AGL reconfirms our commitment to engage with the community and follow all assessment requirements deemed necessary by the State Government and regulatory bodies.

In response to the announcement, AGL’s general manager for energy supply and origination Phaedra Deckart said “Victorians are continuing to face real challenges with energy affordability. Crib Point will be a safe and environmentally responsible project, making gas supply for Victorians more secure, while critically bringing much needed competition to place downward pressure on gas prices.”

Project update 6: 12 September 2018

AGL Gas Import Jetty and APA Crib Point Pipeline Referrals submitted

AGL and APA Transmission have submitted detailed documentation for the Victorian Minister for Planning to assess whether an Environment Effects Statement is required. Referrals under federal legislation are also being submitted for the AGL Gas Import Jetty Project and the APA Crib Point Pakenham Pipeline Project. The referrals, submitted together, are for the AGL Gas Import Jetty Project and the APA Crib Point Pakenham Pipeline Project.

Copies of the documentation can be found on the AGL website and APA websites.

There have been some changes in the technical reports from the initial drafts published online which are due to advancement in project design and engineering, further clarity on the gas demand model for the project and feedback from the community.

Project update 5: 31 August 2018

Update on referral process

AGL and APA are still working to finalise their EES and EPBC Referrals. While we had intended to lodge the referrals today it is now our intention to lodge both referrals by Friday 7 September. We will advise the community once this has occurred and make the referral documents available online.

Upcoming drop-in information sessions

During September AGL is hosting six community drop in sessions around Western Port. 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 answer your questions 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: Friday 7 September 7pm - 9pm at Flinders Hall, 54-56 Cook Street, Flinders
  • Cowes: Thursday 13 6-8pm at Cowes Cultural Centre, 91-97 Thompson Avenue, Cowes
  • Somers: Saturday 15 September 12pm - 2pm at RW Stone Pavilion, 68 Camp Hill Road, Somers
  • Hastings: Tuesday 18 September 7pm - 9pm at Hastings Hall, 3 High Street Hastings
  • Tooradin: Friday 21 September 7pm - 9pm at Tooradin Public Hall, 11 Tooradin Station Road, Tooradin
  • Crib Point: Tuesday 25 September 7pm - 9pm at Crib Point Community Hall, 7 Park Road, Crib Point

If you can’t attend but would like to learn more, please visit agl.com.au/cribpoint.

Current works at Crib Point Jetty

The Port of Hastings Development Authority has commenced the jetty remediation works at the Crib Point site which currently consists of inspection and testing works on the jetty. These works are being undertaken to prepare the site for AGL’s gas import project should the project receive approvals to proceed. These works are being underwritten by AGL. The construction component of remediation work won’t commence until next year.

Approvals for these early works have been sought and received under the Coastal Management Act.

The Cooper Sole pipe spooling project has also received its approval and will commence in the next few months. The site is currently being set up with site sheds and survey markers to accommodate the pipe spooling project. APA is continuing with their survey activities along the entire pipeline route, including at the Crib Point end of line facility in preparation for making their application for a licence to construct the pipeline.

Works associated with the AGL FSRU project have not commenced on site.

Project update 4: 29 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 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 email AGLCommunity@agl.com.au.

Project update 3: 3 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, Kelly Parkinson.

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 2: 2 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 email: AGLCommunity@agl.com.au.

Project update 1: 8 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.

Back to top>>


Project risks and delivery

Jointly with APA's proposed Crib Point Pakenham Pipeline Project, the AGL Gas Import Jetty Project is currently undergoing an Environment Effects Statement (EES) process. The EES will look at the potential environmental, social, economic and planning impacts and the approach to mitigating these impacts. It will give decision makers such as EPA Victoria the information they need to determine whether planning approvals should be granted and what conditions should apply.

Like all big industrial and resources projects, the proposed 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 is 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 are also being assessed as part of the EES.

Should the project gain the required regulatory approvals and final investment approval is granted by the AGL Board, the first delivery of imported gas is projected for the second half of FY22.

Back to top>>


About the FSRU

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

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 approximately -162 degrees Celsius 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, a number of regasification modes could be used to warm the LNG and return it to a gaseous state.

Our EES will assess both open loop and closed loop regasification systems. This will ensure the potential impacts are thoroughly assessed and provide the required flexibility to mitigate and manage any potential impacts to the marine environment during certain months (such as Spring when there are elevated levels of larvae and plankton).

Our preference is to operate in open loop mode provided there is minimal impact to the marine environment including larvae and plankton. We believe this is the best option when considering the environmental outcomes overall.

We will work with the community and the government to ensure all options and environmental effects are considered.

Back to top>>


Regulatory assessment

The project is subject to a number of laws and regulations and would require strict criteria to be met before approval would be given. If AGL cannot satisfy these requirements, then the proposal will not proceed.

Environment Effects Statement

The Victorian Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has announced that the proposed AGL Gas Import Jetty Project and APA’s Crib Point Pakenham Pipeline will undergo a full Environmental Effects Statement (EES).

Read the Minister’s media release here.

AGL reconfirms our commitment to engage with the community and follow all assessment requirements deemed necessary by the State Government and regulatory bodies.

For information about the EES and opportunity for community involvement, see Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project EES.

Assessment under the EPBC Act

On 28 November 2018, a delegate of the Minister for the Environment and Energy decided that the AGL Gas Import Jetty Project is a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Consequently, the Jetty Project will require approval and is subject to Federal assessment and approval processes under the EPBC Act.

The Jetty Project will be assessed under the EES process, as set out in the bilateral agreement with Victoria. At the completion of the EES assessment, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will provide a report to the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy (DEE) on the assessment of the likely impacts of the project.

Following this, DEE will make a decision on the proposed Jetty Project in accordance with the EPBC Act. This may result in two approval decisions and two sets of conditions. View the referral decision here.

The Minister also determined that APA’s Crib Point Pakenham Pipeline Project is a controlled action. Similarly to AGL’s Import Gas Jetty Project, the EES (being prepared to address the impacts of both projects) will be assessed in accordance with the bilateral agreement between Victoria and the Commonwealth prior to a decision being made under the EPBC Act.

Back to top>>


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.

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.

Who will be responsible for regulating the safety of the AGL Gas Import Jetty Project?

As the AGL 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)
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.

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.

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.

In this section


Overview

AGL has been consulting with key stakeholders including people living, working, recreating and visiting near the project area, community groups and the Victorian and Australian governments since July 2017.

There have been over 30 public community consultations, held in locations including Crib Point, Hastings, Balnarring, Blind Bight, Cowes, Cardinia, and Nar Nar Goon with both supporters and those who oppose the project.

There are many opportunities to get involved with the project during the EES process.

We always try to support the communities in which we work. How we do this depends on local needs and is done in consultation with the community.

AGL has announced a $7.5 million Community Fund that will be made available if the project goes ahead. 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.

Back to top >>

Community Fund

If the AGL Gas Import Jetty 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 importing LNG 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.

Back to top >>

Overview

The Victorian Minister for Planning has determined that an Environment Effects Statement is required under the Environment Effects Act 1978 for the proposed AGL Gas Import Jetty and APA’s Crib Point Pakenham Pipeline Project.

The EES process is currently assessing will look at the potential environmental, social, economic and planning impacts of the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project, the approach to mitigating these impacts.

For information about the EES and opportunity for community involvement, see Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project EES.

Technical reports

The AGL Gas Import Jetty Project together with APA’s Crib Point Pakenham Pipeline Project is now subject to an Environment Effects Statement under the Environment Effects Act 1978.

Find out more about the EES process.

Below you will find copies of AGL’s referral application documents along with the technical reports that accompanied them.

There have been some changes in the technical reports from the initial drafts published online which are due to advancement in project design and engineering, further clarity on the gas demand model for the project and feedback from the community.


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.

Back to top >>

PRESENTATIONS


Back to top >>

Community complaints and enquiries

If you would like to enquire or make a complaint about the AGL Gas Import Jetty Project, please contact us via the following channels:


AGL Community Complaints & Enquiries Hotline: 1800 039 600

Email: AGLCommunity@agl.com.au

Mail: AGL Community Complaints & Enquiries, Locked Bag 3013, Australia Square NSW 1215

You can find out more about how AGL engages with the community here and access the Community Complaints and Feedback Policy here.



Back to top>>