With impending gas supply shortages facing Australia, Squadron Energy has said the Port Kembla Energy Terminal (PKET) provides the best short-term solution, while facilitating a speedy transition to green energy in the next few years.
Squadron Energy interim CEO, Dr Michael Shaw, said the PKET offers the ability to prevent gas shortages in the short term, without investment in major new gas producing infrastructure, which would only lead to Australia being reliant on fossil fuels for decades to come.
“The PKET can supply Victoria and New South Wales with up to 30 per cent of their combined gas needs from late 2023, keeping the lights on for families and industry secure, but it can be quickly switched over as green hydrogen or other renewable energy sources become available.
“Squadron Energy is determined to help Australians through this crisis but also committed to its mission to decarbonise and we recognise that LNG is not a long-term solution.
“We are building the terminal with a green future in mind. We have placed orders for steel pipe capable of transporting green hydrogen, and we are exploring other opportunities to adapt the terminal for a green future. But we recognise the needs of our customers and of Australians for gas to provide energy security during the energy transition,” Dr Shaw said.
Chairman of AIE, John Hartman, said a transition to green energy must be prioritised, while also ensuring that we address the current energy crisis.
“We strongly warn against the approval of new gas projects, such as those proposed by Santos and Woodside. The PKET is an energy security project which will enable critical energy supply. It will help solve the short-term supply and transportation constraints of the east coast market, but with infrastructure that can quickly be transitioned to green hydrogen and other green energy uses when the time is right.
“Investment in new gas projects just prolongs our reliance on fossil fuels. These new gas projects cannot be switched over like the PKET and are effectively 30-year carbon bombs which will continue to destroy our environment and continue to leave consumers addicted to burning fossil fuels,” Mr Hartman said.
A key component of the PKET project is the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) which was contracted by AIE in November 2021.
“Since the invasion of Ukraine these vessels are highly sought after. Our decision to bring the FSRU into Australia for the PKET is highly dependent upon gas retailers committing to use the PKET,” Mr Hartman said.
The PKET comprises a gas terminal incorporating a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) which can be sailed away when no longer required by the market, new wharf and onshore facilities, and a pipeline connecting the terminal to the existing Eastern Gas Pipeline (EGP). The project received Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) approval from the NSW Government in April 2019 and remains the only gas terminal in Australia with an existing development consent.
Construction at the Terminal commenced in early 2021 and is expected to be completed in late 2023. The contract for the FSRU for the Terminal was entered into in November 2021 with Hoegh LNG. Reflecting its importance to energy security, the lateral pipeline was included in the NSW Government’s Priority Project List in September 2020. Pipeline orders were placed in early 2022.