Origin Reaches Milestone at Queensland Gas Pipeline

Origin Energy has completed work on the 205 kilometer domestic gas pipeline to provide natural gas to its new Darling Downs Power Station as part of a $1 billion investment which created more than 1000 jobs.

It is a significant milestone for the project, with the 630 MW Darling Downs Power Station set to be the largest combined cycle power station in Australia.

The 205 kilometer pipeline stretches from the Wallumbilla gas hub near Roma to the Talinga gas production facility and gas fields, owned by Australia Pacific LNG, and on to Origin's Darling Downs Power Station near Dalby. The pipeline was built in two sections and employed more than 250 workers during its construction.

These projects are part of Origin's ongoing commitment to help boost jobs and economic growth in Queensland through the development of both gas-fired power generation and new gas fields for domestic use and the new international LNG export industry based in Gladstone.

Origin Executive General Manager for Upstream Oil and Gas, Paul Zealand, said, "the completion of the pipeline, which connects Darling Downs Power Station with interests in two proven CSG fields, demonstrates our commitment to develop new sources of gas for both domestic and overseas markets.

"The fact Darling Downs will be powered by gas from Australia Pacific LNG's CSG fields also highlights the contribution Origin is making to the provision of cleaner electricity through involvement in the development of new gas fields and the use of natural gas for electricity generation," Zealand said.

Australia Pacific LNG is a 50:50 joint venture between Origin and ConocoPhillips to develop Australia’s largest Coal Seam Gas (CSG) reserves in the Surat and Bowen Basins of western Queensland.

"The completion of the pipeline is another step in Origin and Australia Pacific LNG's continuing contribution to Queensland and Australia's domestic gas industry and will significantly add to the cleaner power provided to homes and businesses in Queensland," Zealand said.

With the capacity to transport up to 400 TJ of gas each day, in addition to meeting the current gas requirements of Darling Downs Power Station, the pipeline is able to act as a short term gas storage facility or support the development of additional gas fired electricity generation.

Origin Executive General Manager for Major Development Projects, Andrew Stock, said Darling Downs Power Station was on schedule for completion next year.

"More than 750 workers have been employed during construction of the power station alone since it began in August 2007 and, by the time it is operational in 2010, the total project of power station and pipeline will have cost $1 billion," Stock said.

The pipeline opening follows the recent purchase, for $660 million, of the Pangaea CSG tenement by Origin which will also contribute to Origin's domestic gas network. The combination of the Pangaea purchase and the pipeline provides significant capacity for future power generation on the Darling Downs.

Origin's Darling Downs Power Station has three gas turbines and a steam turbine, and will emit less than half of the greenhouse gas and use less than three per cent of the water used by a typical water-cooled coal-fired power station. This makes Darling Downs Queensland's and one of Australia's cleanest baseload power stations.