South East South Australia (SESA) Pipeline Underway

Origin Energy is starting construction on a natural gas pipeline to join the South East region of South Australia to the SEA Gas* pipeline.

The SESA pipeline will be 45 km long and 200 mm in diameter. The contract for its construction has been awarded to NACAP Australia Pty Ltd (NACAP).

The SEA Gas connection is near Poolaijelo in Victoria and the SESA pipeline will terminate at Ladbroke Grove near Penola in South Australia. The pipeline route covers cleared pasture and agricultural areas as well as cleared firebreaks through forestry plantations.

The initial pipe laying activities will commence immediately at the Ladbroke Grove end and are expected to take around 8 to 10 weeks to complete, weather permitting. Other works will be required to complete the connections at each end.

Field construction was initially expected to be completed in October, however Origin Energy has today announced that, with the support of its suppliers and the South Australian and Victorian Governments, it is now accelerating the SESA project such that it could become operational as early as June 2005. This timing is dependent on equipment delivery, weather and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals. Some of the works at each end of the pipeline will be of a temporary nature and these will be decommissioned when the permanent facilities are completed according to the original schedule around October.

In announcing the start of construction activity, Origin Energy's General Manager Public and Government Affairs, Tony Wood said "Connecting the south east pipeline system to the Eastern Australia gas infrastructure network will bring additional supply options into the area - needed for continued strong growth in regional industry."

Mr Wood said "Origin Energy has worked very closely with the South Australian and Victorian Governments, the Wattle Range Council, West Wimmera Council and local communities throughout the approvals, environmental assessment and easement acquisition phases of the project and we appreciate the support received from these groups."

NACAP will progressively increase its work force in the area in the next two weeks. Mr Wood said "The local community will notice a sudden increase in population in the region as crews set up and begin construction. We expect over 100 people will be engaged in building the pipeline".

*The SEA Gas pipeline was commissioned in January 2004 and connects gas supply facilities in SW Victoria to Adelaide.