Viva Energy proposes gas terminal to secure supply in Victoria

Viva Energy technicians inspect the Geelong Refinery.

Viva Energy’s proposed gas import terminal would provide the secure supply of energy needed by businesses to plan for their future in Victoria the company said in a statement.

The AEMO 2024 Gas Statement of Opportunities report recently released highlighted the risks to Victoria’s future gas supply and followed a Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry survey of local businesses which identified significant concerns about the security of future energy supplies in the state.

Viva Energy’s proposed gas terminal would be located next to its refinery in Geelong and would have the capacity to supply more than half of Victoria’s current gas demand utilising the existing gas pipeline system.

Depending on regulatory approval and Final Investment Decision, the Viva Energy project could deliver gas in time to address the forecast shortfall in winter 2028.

Lachlan Pfeiffer, Viva Energy’s Chief Business Development and Sustainability Officer, said the Geelong gas import terminal promises the fastest, most cost-effective solution to meeting the forecast gas shortage.

“A secure supply of gas is critical for Victorian businesses that rely on gas for their operations – particularly those businesses that cannot switch to electricity,” he said.

“Viva Energy is a significant user of gas – our refinery cannot operate without it – so we know exactly how uncertain businesses are feeling about their future in the current climate.”

A secure supply of gas is also critical for the more than 2 million homes that rely on gas for heating, cooking and hot water, and the Viva Energy gas import terminal would play a critical role in delivering gas to households in a reliable and cost-effective manner.

The project, however, is not about promoting more use of gas according to Pfeiffer.

“It would simply provide the gas that will continue to be needed by homes and industry,” he said.

“We support the efforts of the Victorian Government’s Gas Substitution Roadmap in encouraging consumers to switch to electricity – we are looking at electrification initiatives at our Geelong Refinery to do the same.

“As the energy transition progresses, it is important we have a secure and flexible supply of gas to match the evolving demand profile, and importing gas is the ideal solution.”

Gas is a lower emissions energy source compared to coal when used for electricity generation and, as gas-powered generation can be turned on when required, it doesn’t need to be ‘always on’ like coal – making it the perfect back-up for solar and wind energy.

Viva Energy submitted a detailed Environment Effects Statement (EES) regarding the gas terminal to the Victorian Government in 2022.

It is currently responding to the Minister for Planning’s request for supplementary information regarding matters relating to the marine environment, air quality, noise and Aboriginal cultural heritage.

These additional studies are well progressed and expected to be ready for public exhibition by the middle of 2024.

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