MOOMBA could become the gas hub of the nation, placed at the centre of an enormous, multi-billion dollar gas pipeline across Australia.
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg has told The Advertiser the government is “seriously looking into” the idea of a pipeline to solve the imminent gas crisis and that Moomba was already an important gas supply hub.
“It’s early days,” he said.
“The economics would have to stack up. It could be up to twice the distance of a pipeline from the north to Moomba (but) it would be good to get gas from the west coast to the east.
“Moomba would be a good processing hub, and from there you can move it to other states.”
Asked whether a reported cost of $5 billion was accurate, Mr Frydenberg said there were a range of variables including where the pipeline started and finished, and how wide it was.
Moomba is already a storage and distribution facility with a 790km pipeline to Adelaide.
The Australian Energy Market Operator last year launched it as the Moomba Gas Supply Hub to “enhance the transparency and reliability of gas supply by creating a voluntary market that offers a low-cost, flexible method to buy and sell gas at interconnecting transmission pipelines”.
WA has an abundance of gas, while there is a threatened shortage in the eastern states. Suppliers get a better price overseas for gas, so much of Australia’s supply is exported.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been meeting with gas industry chiefs to convince them to better service the domestic market.
State Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis told The Advertiser the government would “look at any credible proposal that has the potential to reduce energy costs and increase energy security for our state”.
“We will consider any proposal and weigh the benefits against the infrastructure cost that would be borne by taxpayers,” he said.
Yesterday, Mr Turnbull said the government was looking at connecting a pipeline to the NT and to WA – both of which have abundant gas resources.
Originally published as Moomba to be part of mega gas hub