Ground Broken on New Chapter in Apache's Devil Creek Gas Devt

Energy Minister Peter Collier helped mark the start of construction of Apache Energy's Devil Creek domestic gas plant during a groundbreaking ceremony near Karratha.

"The construction of Devil Creek will become an important chapter in the development of gas supply to the Western Australian domestic market," Collier said.

"This project is a major milestone for Apache Energy in Australia, representing a significant onshore investment in the State's energy market and providing the third gas hub for WA."

The plant is expected to be commissioned at the end of 2011, initially delivering an additional 10 percent into WA's domestic gas market.

However, it has been designed to process 220 terajoules per day, or 20 percent of current supply, to the domestic gas market.

In addition, the plant will supply up to 500 barrels of condensate per day.

The Minister said gas extracted from the Reindeer field would be processed at the plant and supplied into the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas pipeline.

"One of the challenges for the Liberal-National Government and the energy industry is ensuring that reliable and secure energy continues while Australia moves towards a carbon-restrained future," he said.

"While the Government has committed to the national target of 20 percent renewable energy by 2020, the State's generation sector will continue to rely heavily on gas in the short to medium term.

"Gas is in a strong position to provide fast-response backup electricity to intermittent generators such as wind or solar when there is insufficient wind or sunshine.

"Apache Energy's Devil Creek processing hub will be a key factor in increasing the supply of gas, thereby helping to ensure that our economy and community continue to prosper."