Media Releases | 28th Jun, 2019

AGL gas import delay highlights need to focus on reducing gas consumption

The delay to AGL’s proposed gas import terminal at Crib Point in Westernport Bay creates a window for accelerating efforts to reduce the need for gas across Victoria, Environment Victoria said today.

The delay, announced to the ASX this morning, is based on AGL’s choice of a different type of “floating storage and regasification unit”, the Hoegh Esperanza.

Westernport Bay is an internationally significant marine ecosystem, home to dozens of threatened and migratory species.

Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager Dr Nicholas Aberle today said:

“AGL’s shift to the Esperanza floating storage and regasification unit reveals that they are now actively considering using a ‘closed loop’ system to heat up the liquefied gas.

“The ‘open loop’ system would dump millions of litres of toxic chlorinated water into Westernport Bay, but the ‘closed loop’ would significantly increase the greenhouse gas emissions associated with this project.

“AGL is attempting to reduce the impact of its project on the local marine environment, which is positive, but they still can’t escape damaging the climate through liquefying and transporting gas – gas which may have actually been exported from Australia in the first place.

“The smarter alternative is reducing gas consumption, not expanding supply, so neither Westernport Bay nor the climate need to be damaged. This could cut millions of tonnes of CO2 from Victoria and help homes and businesses save on their energy bills.

The smarter alternative is reducing gas consumption, not expanding supply, so neither Westernport Bay nor the climate need to be damaged.Click To Tweet

“AGL’s terminal would acquire gas at international prices, so importing gas will do nothing to reduce gas prices in Australia. High prices are here to stay.

“Gas is mostly used to create heat, and for most applications there are now more efficient and cheaper options that involve using electricity. Using renewable electricity makes this a cheaper and much cleaner alternative to gas for homes and businesses.

“We call on the Andrews government to now scale-up efforts to support homes and businesses to shift away from gas. For many manufacturers, this will be their best chance of remaining competitive in a new world of permanently high gas prices.

“AGL is not pursuing this project to help consumers. They are pursuing it to boost their profits, and they are asking the community around Westernport Bay and the environment itself to pay the cost.

“The fact that AGL is now happy to delay this project shows that their claims about potential gas shortfalls have been exaggerated.”

For interview and further comment

Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaigns Manager

Mobile: 0402 512 121


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