Jemena begins Atlas gas pipeline construction

Jemena has launched construction of the Atlas gas pipeline south-west of Wandoan, Queensland.

The project will see Jemena and its partners construct a 60-kilometre, eight-inch steel-coated buried gas pipeline and compressor station.

It is being developed to connect gas from Senex Energy’s Atlas gas fields to the east-coast gas market via the Wallumbilla gas hub.

The project represents the state’s first domestic-only gas supply with all gas ear-marked for the domestic market.

Jemena’s executive general manager of gas markets Antoon Boey said the project was part of the company’s focus on meeting the “gas supply crisis” Australia was facing.

“As we transition to a low-carbon future gas will play an increasingly important role in complementing intermittent renewable technologies such as wind and solar generation that, currently, are unable to provide firming power,” Boey said.

Boey said construction and commissioning of the Atlas project was expected to be complete before the end of 2019.

“We are currently in the early stages of construction, with around 90 people on site conducting clear and grade and stringing activities, and we expect this work to ramp up quickly over the coming weeks,” he said.

“The Atlas pipeline and processing facility have been designed to enable further expansion once additional gas reserves become available from the Atlas production area.”

Senex Energy welcomed the start of construction, with chief executive officer Ian Davis saying the company has made excellent progress on the development of Atlas.

“The start of pipeline construction works by Jemena is an important milestone in delivering much-needed natural gas to the east coast market,” Davis said.

Senex and Jemena will invest almost $400 million to bring natural gas from Project Atlas and the nearby Roma North development to market.

Davis said it was “an investment which will not only create new jobs and support the western Queensland economy, but also generate material royalties for the Queensland Government to support roads, schools and hospitals.”

Jemena recently awarded Spiecapag Australia a $20 million contract to construct the Atlas gas pipeline. Australian energy and infrastructure services group, Valmec, has also been appointed to construct the Atlas compressor station.

In total, Jemena will invest around $140 million to deliver the Atlas project, which is expected to create around 150 to 200 jobs in Queensland.

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