Emerging gas player Blue Energy (ASX: BLU) has commended the Queensland Government for its $5 million commitment on a concept study for a new gas pipeline.
The study will examine the feasibility of, and options for, a new transmission pipeline south, which will connect the Bowen Basin’s gas reserves to the east coast energy market.
This commitment was included in the Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan just released by state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Blue Energy managing director John Phillips said after the announcement that his company has regularly commented on the “enormous” gas resource that has already been discovered in the North Bowen Basin.
“Blue Energy looks forward to additional detail on the scope of the Bowen gas pipeline study being proposed by the government, and stands ready to assist,” he added.
Since 2005, this basin has been sending gas north to Townsville manufacturers and electricity generators via the North Queensland Gas Pipeline.
Back in April Blue Energy called on the federal and Queensland governments to build a Bowen Basin southern gas pipeline that could unlock 15,000 petajoules of discovered gas to provide vital “timely and reliable” energy supplies to the eastern states.
The company had at that time just begun a pre-feasibility study on a Bowen Basin fast-start gas fired power generation plant which it said would provide flexible, reliable and dispatchable electricity to “a fragile north Queensland grid”.
Blue Energy has been campaigning for a single, multi-user pipeline running 500km from Moranbah connecting to the Gladstone-Wallumbilla pipeline that would be capable of delivering up to 300 terajoules per day to the domestic market.
The company argues that the Bowen Basin contains independently verified gas resources of up to 15,000 PJ which, if fully developed via a new southern pipeline, could supply the east coast domestic gas market for up to 30 years.
New pipeline will lower east coast gas prices
“In doing so, it would act to lower east coast gas prices to end users, and importantly, enable manufacturers and gas users to enter long term gas contracts and give certainty of gas supply and price for decades.”
The Queensland Government’s plan noted that increasing gas supply to the east coast will help expand state’s gas market and stabilise prices.
The first step in the $5 million study will be to analyse gas prospectivity as well as opportunities for industry development in building the pipeline. It is expected that up to 1,000 jobs will be created during the construction phase.
Blue Energy explained that gas is not only used for low emission electricity generation, but is essential as a feedstock for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, plastics, explosives, bricks, glass, fertilizer, personal protective equipment, and many more products.
Blue Energy has 3,000 PJ of gas resource in its 100% owned tenements around Moranbah.
At present it has production licence applications with the Queensland Government with plans to supply gas into the domestic markets, both into Townsville and to the south, once the southern pipeline is built.