APA begins work on the WORM gas pipeline project
Australian energy infrastructure company APA began work on the Western Outer Ring Main (WORM) gas transmission project on August 2 which will transport greater volumes of gas to Victoria’s Iona underground storage facility for use during peak demand.
“Once completed, the WORM investment will also provide increased system capacity, reliability and security of supply to Victorian households for their heating, hot water and cooking, as well as small and large businesses,” said said APA Group CEO Rob Wheals. “A more secure gas supply will also support more gas-fired electricity generation on days when it is needed, which will boost renewable energy generation and further benefit electricity customers.”
Wheals said the gas stored in the Iona underground storage facility is crucial to meet peak gas demand in Victoria during the winter, with gas consumption sometimes three times higher in Victoria, compared in the summer.
APA is also investing A$60 million ($42 million) right now to expand the South West Pipeline from the Iona Underground Storage Facility to Melbourne’s CBD by around 8.6% through the installation of additional compression.
“We are currently investing to expand our East Coast Queensland and New South Wales gas network to increase capacity by 25% before winter 2023 and 2024. Construction is underway on Phase 1 and is expected to be delivered before winter 2023, while design and procurement for Stage 2 has begun and will be delivered before winter 2024,” Wheals said.
“Expanding our East Coast gas network and completing this A$270 million investment now will provide a cost-effective, safe and reliable way to transport Australian domestic gas from northern gas producers to southern markets. , ahead of potential future shortages in 2023 predicted by the ACCC this week,” he added.
When complete, the WORM pipeline will be 51km long and will provide a new high pressure connection between the existing pipelines at Plumpton to the west of Melbourne and Wollert to the north and will include a new additional compressor at the existing Wollert compressor station.
Construction of WORM is expected to be completed in June 2023.