• Project overview

    AGL and APA are proposing to develop the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project (the Project) to supply imported natural gas to south-eastern Australia to meet the needs of industrial, commercial and residential gas customers.

    The Project is proposed to meet the shortfall in gas supply from 2024 that has been predicted by the Australian Energy Market Operator.

    The Project would provide gas supply certainty to Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, while balancing economic, social and environmental factors.

    The Project is made up of two sets of works: the Gas Import Jetty Works and the Pipeline Works. Here’s how it would operate:

    Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project

    Gas Import Jetty Works

    1. A ship known as a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) would be continuously moored at Berth 2 of Crib Point Jetty. The FSRU, would store liquid natural gas (LNG) and regasify the liquid back into a gaseous form.

    2. An above ground receiving facility, located on land immediately adjacent to the Crib Point Jetty, would receive natural gas transferred through gas piping along the jetty from the FSRU. The Crib Point Receiving Facility would include facilities to inject odorant and nitrogen (as required) into the natural gas to meet Victorian Transmission System (VTS) gas quality specifications.

    Pipeline Works

    1. A 57km high-pressure gas pipeline would transport the natural gas from the Crib Point Receiving Facility to the VTS east of Pakenham.

    2. An above ground delivery facility east of Pakenham would monitor, regulate and deliver the gas into the VTS, for distribution throughout Victoria and south-east Australia.

    Why is a natural gas shortage forecast?

    Natural gas is an important energy source for Australian households, businesses and industries.

    Since the 1960s, Australia’s south-eastern states have received much of their supply from gas sources in the Gippsland and Otway Basins, which sit in Bass Strait off the coast of Victoria. However, it isn’t widely recognised that these gas reserves are now in decline, and production from the region’s ageing gas field projects is falling.

    The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) acknowledged this declining supply in its 2020 Gas Statement of Opportunities.

    “Several gas fields are forecast to cease production sometime between mid-2023 and mid-2024. If production ceases earlier, this could create peak winter day supply gaps in Victoria in 2023.”

    Reduced production from the southern reserves will mean greater reliance on gas from northern reserves in Queensland but their ability to supply the southern states is limited by pipeline infrastructure capacity and cost constraints.  

    Even if the gas could be physically transported to the southern states cost effectively, the bulk of the gas production from Queensland is already committed to LNG export contracts. Other sources of gas production in Western Australia are not directly available to south-eastern customers due to the absence of pipeline infrastructure connecting the east coast network.

    This decline in supply has coincided with increased demand for gas from international markets causing domestic market prices to increase. Combined with declining gas production from southern reserves, this has resulted in higher and more volatile prices for Australian customers, reflecting competition for scarcer domestic gas supplies.

    Why import LNG?

    While Australia is one of the world's largest exporters of LNG, most of this gas comes from Queensland and Western Australia – which is far away from where it’s needed most, in Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia.

    While gas supply from Queensland can be transported to Victoria, the pipeline system does not have enough capacity to meet Victoria's peak winter demand. Accessing the reserves in Western Australia is even more difficult, given there’s no existing pipeline infrastructure connecting the east coast network and the cost of building one is not commercially viable due to the vast distance involved.

    By using an existing jetty at Crib Point in Western Port to import competitively priced gas directly to the Victorian market, this Project can:

    • help provide gas supply certainty and security for Victorian gas customers, and customers from other states that rely on Victoria’s gas supply

    • place downward pressure on gas prices for residential customers as well as vulnerable industrial and commercial customers, many of whom are large generators of employment

    • provide a flexible source of gas for gas-powered generation so that customers have secure and stable electricity supply as the National Electricity Market transitions to accommodate more renewables. 

     

    Project proponents

    AGL Wholesale Gas Limited and APA Transmission Pty Ltd are the proponents
    for the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project which is the subject of the EES.

  • Timeline

    The following timeline sets out the steps taken so far in the EES process and the steps still to come.

    Steps marked with an asterisk (*) show indicative dates and are subject to change.
     

    Q3 2017 to Q3 2018 | Completed
    Early environmental investigations and conceptual design

    AGL and APA investigated potential environmental impacts, revised the concept design, engaged with the local community to raise awareness of the Project and understand local concerns.

    Q3 2018 | Completed
    Project referred to Commonwealth and Victorian governments

    AGL and APA referred the Project to the Victorian Government under the Environment Effects Act 1978 as two separate projects consisting of the Gas Import Jetty Works and Pipeline Works.

    AGL and APA also referred proposals in separate referrals to the Commonwealth Government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

    Q4 2018 to Q1 2019 | Completed
    The Victorian Minister for Planning determined that an EES is required for the Project and set scoping requirements

    The Commonwealth Department of Energy and Environment determined that both the Gas Import Jetty Works and Pipeline Works are controlled actions under the EPBC Act. The scoping requirements for the EES include requirements to assess matters of national environmental significance under the EPBC Act.

  • FAQ

    The EES process

    Why is an Environment Effects Statement (EES) required for the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project?

    On 8 October 2018, the Victorian Minister for Planning announced that an EES was required for the Gas Import Jetty and Pipeline Project under the Environment Effects Act 1978, listing the following reasons:

    • There are potential significant environmental effects, including on native vegetation, habitat of threatened terrestrial and aquatic species listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Vic), as well as risk to some aspects of the ecology in the North Arm of the Western Port Ramsar site.
    • There are potential effects from construction and operation of the gas pipeline on water quality of waterways, and the Western Port Ramsar site and on Aboriginal cultural heritage.

    The Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy has determined that both the Gas Import Jetty Works and Pipeline Works are controlled actions, requiring assessment under the EPBC Act.

    The EES will serve as the accredited assessment process for the purpose of the EPBC Act under a Bilateral Assessment Agreement between the Commonwealth and Victorian governments.

    After considering the Victorian Minister for Planning’s assessment under the EE Act, the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment will decide whether the Project is approved, approved with conditions or refused under the EPBC Act.

    AGL and APA have worked together to prepare an EES to ensure the potential effects of the Project are rigorously investigated as part of an integrated assessment process, prior to any statutory approval decisions.
     

    How will environmental effects be assessed?

    Under the EE Act 1978, the project proponent, in this case AGL and APA, is responsible for preparing the EES and undertaking the necessary investigations.

    Following a period of public input, in February 2019 the Minister for Planning set the matters to be investigated and documented in the EES in the scoping requirements.

    Comprehensive technical studies have been undertaken by independent technical specialists to assess all potential impacts and identify measures to avoid, minimise and mitigate any potential impacts.

    The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) convened an inter-agency Technical Reference Group at the request of the Minister for Planning to advise DELWP and the proponent on scoping and adequacy of the EES studies and documentation, as well as co-ordination of the EES process with other statutory processes for the Project. The EES was made available by the Minister for Planning for public comment from 2 July until 26 August 2020 as part of the statutory consultation process.

    Key technical studies have undergone peer reviews.
     

    Who was on the Technical Reference Group?

    The government organisations represented on the Technical Reference group were:

    • DELWP – Impact Assessment
    • DELWP – Port Phillip Region (biodiversity)
    • DELWP – Energy
    • DELWP – Water and Catchments
    • Aboriginal Victoria
    • Heritage Victoria
    • Environment Protection Agency Victoria
    • Worksafe Victoria
    • Energy Safe Victoria
    • Port of Hastings Development Authority
    • Parks Victoria
    • Melbourne Water
    • Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority
    • Cardinia Shire Council
    • Casey City Council
    • Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

    Technical Reference Group representatives were supported by internal experts on specific aspects of the EES studies.

    How can I access the EES?

    The EES is available on this website to download and read. View the EES

    The Project

    The questions and answers below (now in a slightly modified form) were previously shown on the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council website. On request of MPSC, we have moved these Q&As to this page to ensure they continue to be available to the public while the MPSC is in caretaker mode. 

    What alternative sites (to Crib Point) has AGL considered for this project? Why did it choose Crib Point?

    Crib Point Jetty (Victoria) was selected as the location for the gas import jetty. Victoria is the largest gas market by volume consumed in south-eastern Australia.

    Eight sites were initially evaluated by AGL as potential locations to import LNG into south-eastern Australia, including Port of Newcastle, Port Botany and Port Kembla (New South Wales), Corio Quay Precinct, Port of Melbourne and Crib Point (Victoria), Port Adelaide (South Australia) and Bell Bay (Tasmania).

    Initial screening criteria for the eight potential sites included:

    • proximity to hazards, possible ignition sources and other safety considerations
    • proximity to occupied buildings and consideration of nearby activities
    • exclusive access to a berth capable of accommodating vessels with overall length up to 300 metres
    • a deep-water swing basin/ship turning basin of 600 metres in diameter
    • a deep-water approach channel of suitable width to accommodate double berthed vessels
    • a berth of at least 13 metres deep at lowest astronomical tide
    • separation from the shipping channel such that surge from passing ships does not impact the safe operations of side by side berthing of an FSRU and LNG carrier during unloading
    • existing mooring dolphins (marine structures), or ability to upgrade a berth, to accommodate the parallel length and deadweight tonnage (how much weight a ship can carry) of the FSRU.

    The initial screening assessment resulted in the identification of three shortlisted options being Port Adelaide (South Australia), Port Kembla (New South Wales), and Crib Point (Victoria) that were subsequently considered in further detail.

    A summary of the evaluation of the three shortlisted options is provided in Table 2-3 in the Project Rationale – Chapter 2.

    Crib Point Jetty is an existing operational industrial jetty within Western Port that has been undertaking petroleum related activities for more than 50 years. Crib Point provides:

    • An existing jetty with berth capacity and of a suitable size to accommodate the FSRU. At the time of initial screening, Western Port was receiving 167 ship calls annually, over 100 of which were oil and gas tankers.
    • A deep-water shipping channel with a wide stretch of water between the Crib Point Jetty on the mainland and French Island (also known as the swing basin). These factors provide additional safety for vessels in an emergency.
    • A naturally deep-water port within a sheltered bay (Western Port), with a maintained berth depth of approximately 13 metres at the lowest tide level, with an additional three metres during high tides.
    • No capital dredging would be required for the Gas Import Jetty Works.
    • An existing, dedicated berth (Berth 2) that is not currently being used.
    • The capacity to double-berth an LNG carrier, around 300 metres in length, alongside the FSRU.
    • A sheltered berthing location allowing safe ship-to-ship transfer when double berthed during changing wave conditions. The Crib Point Jetty has been previously used for ship-to-ship transfers of crude oil.
    • An existing operational industrial marine facility, providing for the further development of maritime industry activities.
    • Land use zoning provisions appropriate to the use of the jetty and adjacent landside area that has been reserved via planning schemes for port and related uses under the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme, providing ample safety buffers.
    • Proximity to AGL’s largest gas demand centre, Victoria, of which greater than 70 per cent of peak gas day demand is within the Melbourne metropolitan area.
    • Use of existing gas transmissions networks without major pipeline modifications to supply the south-eastern gas markets.

    Victoria was selected as the location for the Project because it has the largest gas market by volume consumed in south-eastern Australia. The gas import jetty would be located at the existing Crib Point Jetty within the Port of Hastings. The port is a commercial port within Western Port with an existing deep-water channel and berth developed to support international trade.

    The Port of Hastings serves international shipping operations, with an average of 190 vessels a year for the past 20 years. Products imported and exported through the port include crude oil, ethanol, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and steel.

    Industrial activities have occurred in the vicinity of the Crib Point Jetty for more than 50 years. The jetty is currently operating as a working industrial site with two berths for mooring vessels. Berth 1 is used by United Petroleum to transfer liquid fuel to its onshore storage facility located near Hastings. Berth 2 is currently decommissioned.

    The Project proposed at Crib Point Jetty is compatible with the development and use of the port in the Port Zone (PZ) under the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme and State Planning Policy Framework. The jetty provides a large deep-water shipping port and a wide swing basin to enable the safe passage of vessels as well as exclusive access to a berth capable of accommodating vessels measuring up to 300 metres long, with separation from adjacent berths.

    The Project location has been optimised to best benefit Victoria by minimising the distance that gas needs to be transported, reducing the cost of gas to market customers.

    Locating the Project on the eastern side of Melbourne was considered optimal as it provides access to the Longford-to-Melbourne pipeline, which is the main gas transmission pipeline supplying Melbourne. The Project would help offset the decline in domestic production that has historically filled this pipeline and avoid bottlenecking on the smaller pipelines to the west of Melbourne, while facilitating diversion of gas supply towards the Eastern Gas Pipeline to supply gas to New South Wales.

    Port locations in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales were also investigated but lacked the required depth or infrastructure to accommodate a continuously moored FSRU. (2.5.3)

    If 12 to 40 LNG ships will visit Crib Point each year, how does this compare with the number of oil and LPG ships that use the Exxon LIP facility?

    Chapter 4, Project description Section 4.3 page 6 states that the FSRU would receive LNG from ships known as LNG carriers. LNG carriers are vessels of a similar size and design as the FSRU. The FSRU would initially receive approximately 45 petajoules (PJ) of LNG per annum (approximately 12 LNG carriers). The amount of LNG could increase to 160 PJ per annum (approximately 40 LNG carriers) depending on demand. The number of LNG carriers would also depend on their storage capacity, which could vary from 140,000 to 170,000 m3.

    The jetty at Long Island Point is a major loading facility for LPG and crude oil. It sees around 50 vessels a year from around Australia and the world. 

    The EES, Chapter 6 Marine Biodiversity  s.6.3.13 also includes an overview of the current port operations within Western Port:

    The Port of Hastings is one of the four major commercial ports within Victoria. Port of Hastings is managed by the Port of Hastings Development Authority (PoHDA) established in 2004 (Port of Hastings Corporation, 2009).

    In the 1960s the land around Hastings was reserved for port-related uses. The bay’s naturally deep channels and close range to oil and gas fields means the port has played an important role in the energy sector. As the port was identified to be a potential area for larger-scale

    industrial processes in the 1970s, large areas were put aside and preserved to allow for future use.

    HMAS Cerberus is located south of the Port of Hastings. HMAS Cerberus is used as a naval base primarily for training purposes. There are five jetties around the Port of Hastings which include the naval wharf at HMAS Cerberus, Stony Point Jetty, Crib Point Jetty, Long Island Point Jetty and BlueScope Steel Wharves.

    There are approximately 150 commercial shipping movements per year along the main, 32-kilometre long shipping channel to loading and unloading facilities in North Arm at Stony Point, Crib Point, Long Island Point and the BlueScope Steel Wharves. Each year, the port is used by over 100 cargo ships, over 12,000 ferry trips (between Stony Point to French Island and Phillip Island), several cruise ships and numerous recreational vessels.

    The residents of Coolart Road and Woolley Road Bittern will be subjected to up to 900 B-double trucks on their roads per year. Why has AGL made no direct public engagement, community consultation or contact via post or leaflet drop to alert residents?

    Since the Project inception, AGL and APA have aimed to generate awareness and to engage with communities and stakeholders by informing, listening and acknowledging their concerns. As early as June 2017, AGL and APA asked for feedback on early concept designs for the Project.

    As part of the EES Exhibition 15,560 EES Exhibition fliers were sent to residents in Balnarring, Bittern, Crib Point, Hastings, Pearcedale, Sommerville, Somers, and Tyabb.  Flyers were also sent out to the same areas in August/September 2019 informing residents that the EES was in development and making them aware of the community drop in sessions.

    There have been 10 public community drop in sessions with approximately  270 attendees, held at locations including Crib Point, Hastings, Balnarring, Blind Bight, Cowes, Cardinia, and Nar Nar Goon with both supporters and those who oppose the project.

    Engagement and consultation activities and the feedback captured during preparation of the Environment Effects Statement is described in Chapter 26 of the EES Main Report.

    Stakeholder consultation on transport changes is a proposed mitigation measure, described in Technical Report J:  Traffic Impact Assessment.  Mitigation measure TP03 pg 89 states

    Prior to commencement of the construction works and any temporary road closures, stakeholder consultation should be carried out and advanced notice given to affected residents, businesses or industries. This includes measures such as letter notification to inform residents and businesses of upcoming works and road closures. Stakeholder engagement and communications strategies should be established in the TMP and the Stakeholder Engagement Management Plan (SEMP) to be prepared for the Project. Stakeholders may include Councils, road authorities, business operators and residents among others.

    During operation, regular meetings should occur with Mornington Peninsula Shire and an agreement should be reached with the Council to confirm pavement upgrades of impacted local roads around Crib Point, subject to the pavement strength survey results.

    An estimated maximum of 900 trucks per year would be required to provide the liquid nitrogen for the preparation of a rich LNG shipment. However, like most of the studies in the EES, this is based on a worst-case scenario and for the purposes of an impact assessment.

    Nitrogen deliveries would occur at frequent intervals throughout the year to the Crib Point Receiving Facility. During these periods, it is anticipated that up to five truck deliveries would occur daily (10 two-way movements) with the potential for two trucks to be located at the facility at one time.

    There will also be odorant trucks, as explained in the EES, Chapter 15 – Transport, s.15.8.1:

    Odorant deliveries originating from inner Melbourne would depend on the volume of gas vaporised by the FSRU and is not expected to be more frequent than every two months.

     

    The total anticipated vehicle movements for the Project’s operating phase are summarised in the EES, Chapter 15 – Transport, Table 15-8. However, s15.8.1, p. 19 states:

    The number of movements is conservative as operational traffic is not expected to be travelling to and from the FSRU and/or the Crib Point Receiving Facility daily, but instead on intermittently, primarily to restock nitrogen and odorant and by the operational workforce.

    What will happen to the mangroves north of Crib Point?

    The extent of combined seawater discharge impacts were explored the EES, Chapter 6 – Marine Biodiversity, s.6.6.4 P121 outlined:

    The worst-case predicted combined area above the chlorine and temperature Guideline Values would be localised to the Port of Hastings area around the Crib Point Jetty. There are no predicted effects on the shallow edges of North Arm, all seagrass and mangrove areas, all the northern area of Western Port and all areas used by wading birds.

    In summary, in the worst-case scenario, the area of potential impact for residual chlorine and seawater temperature change extends over 20 hectares around the proposed FSRU location. Mangroves, saltmarsh, seagrasses, subtidal reefs and waterbirds (including wading birds) would not be impacted by the seawater discharge associated with the seawater usage of the FSRU.

    The nearest saltmarsh and mangrove habitat to the proposed FSRU and jetty facilities are to the north and south of Crib Point. The wave and current exposure at Crib Point is too high for the establishment of saltmarsh and mangroves. Saltmarsh and mangrove habitat occur near the HMAS Otama Lookout approximately one kilometres west–north-west from the proposed FSRU and to the south of Woolley’s Beach around one kilometre west–south-west FSRU, as shown in Figure 6-28 of Chapter 6 and will not be disturbed as part of the construction or operation of the project. 

    Seawater taken into the FSRU for all purposes passes through an electrolysis cell that converts the dissolved chloride (Cl-) naturally present in seawater to chlorine gas (Cl2) which reacts rapidly in seawater to produce a range of oxidants known as chlorine produced oxidants (CPO).

    The quantity of chlorine or CPO discharged is estimated to be 47 kg/d at peak open production, 32 kg/d at average open loop production and 19 kg/d with closed loop production. On the days when there is an LNG carrier unloading LNG to the FSRU, there is an extra discharge of 0.6 kg/d from the fire management system and about 1 kg/d from the ballast water system (during an unloading period of approximately 36 hours up to 40 times per year).

    A key outcome from the modelling and assessment of chlorine and seawater temperature risks for the marine environment is the extent of the predicted area above the chlorine Guideline Value and temperature Guideline Value. These comprise the area where exceedance of the combined Guideline Value for temperature and chlorine is predicted.

    The ‘worst-case’ modelled scenario for temperature and chlorine is when the FSRU is operating in open loop at peak regasification (that is, all three regasification trains are operating with the largest seawater discharge rate) and an LNG carrier is berthed adjacent to the FSRU. The LNG carrier when berthed adjacent partially obstructs the discharge ports on the starboard side of the FSRU, decreasing the efficiency of mixing.

    For all modelled scenarios, the predicted extent of the combined area above the temperature Guideline Value and the area above the chlorine Guideline Value is limited to the shipping basin and ship berthing areas within the Port of Hastings boundaries. This comprises seabed that has been previously dredged and is regularly subject to sediment resuspension by propeller wash from existing shipping activities at Crib Point Jetty.

    How will AGL and APA offset decline in marine and terrestrial fauna?

    The Project and proposed mitigation measures have been developed to avoid and minimise potential impacts on the marine environment and the terrestrial and freshwater environment, particularly in relation to flora, fauna and their habitats which are protected under State and Commonwealth legislation.

    The consideration of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation is fundamental to the EES scope. Underpinning the EES is a body of work characterising the existing environment and identifying environmental sensitivities. This is then used to consider the potential Project impacts and to inform decision making processes about Project approval, design, construction and operation. Design changes were made to avoid potential adverse effects on biodiversity based on expert advice and stakeholder engagement. Mitigation measures were developed to avoid and minimise the potential impacts of the Project on the environment.

    Chapter 6 Marine biodiversity and Chapter 7 Terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity demonstrate how this principle was put into practice. Section 24.7 of the Sustainability chapter summarises how the project aligns with ecologically sustainable development (ESD) objectives with respect to marine, terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity. (Table 24-5 Summary of the Project's alignment with the relevant ESD principles).

    What has been done to address bushfire risk?

    The potential for bushfires is taken very seriously. Many parts of the Mornington Peninsula are designated as bushfire prone areas under the State Bushfire Management Overlay (BMO), including the area around the current Crib Point Jetty.

    BMO provisions require that development in areas affected by a significant bushfire hazard will only take place after full consideration of bushfire issues. If risk to life and property from bushfire cannot be reduced to an acceptable level the development will not proceed.

    Technical Report technical Report K:  Safety, Hazards and Risk Assessments considers bushfire risk in relation to the Gas Import Jetty Works in Section 7.5 pg 58.

    The Jetty Infrastructure and the Crib Point Receiving Facility works are located on cleared land, but some vegetation is present in surrounding areas. In particular, there are areas of Crown land managed by the State Government, which is responsible for its management, including managing bushfire risk. The safety case for the Jetty Infrastructure and the Crib Point Receiving Facility would include bushfire mitigation strategies.

    The FSRU and LNG Carriers will be provided with their own onboard fire protection and suppression systems.  Mitigation measure MM-HR04, and section 7.5.4 in Technical Report K: Safety, Hazard and Risk Assessments, provides information on fire protection and suppression at the Gas Import Jetty Works.

    In addition, the Incorporated Document that is to be applied to the Gas Import Jetty Works under the proposed Planning Scheme Amendment requires a Bushfire Management Plan be prepared prior to the commencement of use and development of the Project (excluding some preparatory buildings and works).

    Chapter 16: Safety, Hazard and Risk Section 16.1.2 outlines the pipeline works safety regulations:

    The Pipelines Act requires licensed pipelines to be constructed and operated safely in accordance with Australian Standard 2885: Pipelines – Gas and liquid petroleum.  The pipeline licensee is required to implement a range of safety measures to reduce foreseeable risks associated with operating a pipeline and to minimise, as far as is reasonably practicable, hazards and risks to the safety of the public.

    Section 8.5  p. 75 of the Technical Report K:  Safety, Hazards and Risk Assessments outlines the requirement for a Safety Management Plan (SMP) for the Pipeline Works.   A Safety Management Plan (SMP) for the pipeline has been prepared in accordance with the Pipelines Act 2005 and Regulations. This plan is on display with the Pipeline Licence Application. Fire Prevention and Control for the Pipeline Works is addressed in Section 10.3.

    How will AGL’s trucks get from Coolart Road to Wooleys Road?

    Chapter 15: Transport and Technical Report J: Transport Impact Assessment, consider the potential traffic impacts of the Project's operation, including traffic volumes, intersection capacity and possible routes.

    The most direct truck route identified for B-double truck movements is via the Mornington Peninsula Freeway and Frankston–Flinders Road. However, two alternative routes were investigated -  via Coolart Road; and via Western Port Highway/Dandenong–Hastings Road and Coolart Road.
    These routes are shown in Figure 15-3 of Chapter 15.

    In the EES, Technical Report J: Transport Impact Assessment, the most direct truck route via the Mornington Peninsula Freeway and Frankston-Flinders Road, along with the two alternative routes identified (via Coolart Road and via Western Port Highway/Dandenong-Hastings Road and Coolart Road) are shown in Figure 13.

    Assessing these alternate routes identified in s15.8.4, p.20:

    Both routes minimise potential social, economic and amenity impacts by avoiding Hastings and Somerville. Both routes are also approved for B-doubles and would provide additional benefits relative to the Frankston–Flinders Road route:

    • reducing social impacts by avoiding Hastings and Somerville
    • reducing traffic delays by avoiding industrial and activity centres (Hastings and Somerville) 
    • minimising impact on public and school bus routes
    • reducing cyclist and pedestrian crash risk by avoiding areas of activity
    • reducing vehicular crash risk by avoiding multiple black spots.

    However, it should be noted that while the second alternative via Western Port Highway and Coolart Road provides comparable benefits, there are a number of roundabouts along its length that could result in increased delays and risks. Comparatively, the first alternative via only Coolart Road accommodates less traffic and is therefore safer while decreasing potential delays.

    The EES, Chapter 15, s. 15.8.4 found:

    Nitrogen transportation is therefore recommended via Coolart Road away from the Hastings town centre to mitigate potential safety impacts

    This is addressed in further detail s15.11 under MM-TP07 and MM-TP01.

    Once routes have been identified and confirmed as part of the Traffic Management Plan (TMP) (see mitigation measure MM TP01), a road safety audit would review intersection design and safety requirements on the existing road network and access tracks (see mitigation measure MM-TP04).

    What thought has AGL given to the impact of truck movements on local roads and surrounding land uses?

    The EES Chapter 15:  Transport and Technical Report J: Transport impact assessment considered the potential transport impacts associated with the construction and operation of the Project, including identifying and understanding the potential transport impacts that have a risk of adversely affecting road users, the community and businesses.

     

    During operations, nitrogen deliveries would occur at frequent intervals throughout the year to the Crib Point Receiving Facility. During these periods, it is anticipated that up to five truck deliveries would occur daily (10 two-way movements) with the potential for two trucks to be located at the facility at one time.

    There will also be odorant trucks, as explained in the EES, Chapter 15 – Transport, s.15.8.1:

    Odorant deliveries originating from inner Melbourne would depend on the volume of gas vaporised by the FSRU and is not expected to be more frequent than every two months.

    As stated in the EES, Chapter 15 – Transport, s.15.8.4, the most direct truck route identified for B-double truck movements is via the Mornington Peninsula Freeway and Frankston–Flinders Road. This route is part of the B-Double gazetted network except for Woolleys Road and The Esplanade, the last three kilometres for which B-Double access would be subject to heavy vehicle access permits. However, alternative routes (via Coolart Road and via Western Port Highway/Dandenong-Hastings Road and Coolart Road) were investigated with consideration of the following:

    • road hierarchy and identification of routes suitable for heavy vehicles
    • routes where physical constraints and sensitive land uses were identified
    • environmental and traffic factors to minimise social, economic, amenity and land use impacts particularly in denser urban areas such as Hastings and Somerville.

     

    Based on the environmental criteria in the EES, Technical Report J: Transport Impact Assessment, s2.2, these alternate routes minimise potential adverse social, economic, amenity and land use effects by going around Hastings and Somerville instead of travelling through the townships.

    In addition, Frankston-Flinders involves multiple black spots as shown in the crash analysis in the EES, Technical Report J: Transport Impact Assessment, s5.5 whereas the investigated alternate routes via Coolart Road, involve only one black spot. This can be observed in Figure 12, which shows the crashes in the last five years (2013-2017).

     

    Both alternate routes are approved for B-Doubles and would provide additional benefits relative to the Frankston-Flinders Road route on the following:

    • reduction of social impacts by avoiding Hastings and Somerville
    • reduced traffic delays by avoiding industrial and activity centres (Hastings and Somerville)
    • minimised impact on public and school bus routes
    • reduced cyclist and pedestrian crash risk by avoiding areas of activity; and
    • reduced vehicular crash risk by avoiding multiple black spots.

     

    While the second alternate route via Western Port Highway/Dandenong-Hastings Road and Coolart Road can be used and provides comparable benefits, there are a number of roundabouts along its length used as safe traffic control treatments. Though these roundabouts are designed to accommodate large vehicles, the curved geometry can be very compact for truck drivers and can lead to increased delays and risks. In comparison with the Western Port Highway alternate route, the proposed alternate route via Coolart Road accommodates less traffic therefore safer while decreasing the risks of delays.

    Once routes are identified and confirmed as part of the Traffic Management Plan, a Road Safety Audit would be undertaken to review intersection design and safety requirements on the existing road network and access tracks. In addition, an assessment of the need for upgrading or improving the intersection identified as a black spot in Coolart Road / Hunts Road intersection would be carried out as part of the development of the Traffic Management Plan. Signage improvements and speed reduction measures would be implemented at Hunts Road.

    Further information can be found in the EES, Technical Report J: Transport Impact Assessment.

    Prior to construction, a Traffic Management Plan (TMP) will be prepared to minimise/mitigate potential impacts of transport related to construction.

    As stated in the EES, Chapter 15 – Transport, s.15.11:

    The TMP will include specific measures for discrete components or stages of the works having the potential to impact on roads, shared use paths, bicycle paths, footpaths or public transport infrastructure. The TMP will include a number of sub-plans including:

    • Public Transport Disruption Management sub-plan
    • Pedestrian and cyclist connectivity

     

    This also includes, as stated in the EES, Chapter 15 – Transport, s.15.7.7:

    … providing adequate notice to affected residents and ensuring continuous alternative detour routes are in place.

     

    What amount of chlorine will be discharged into Western Port Bay?

    Chapter 6 explores the impact to Marine Biodiversity and states following the intake of seawater into the vessel, an electric current would be passed through the seawater (a process known as electrolysis). Electrolysis breaks up the naturally occurring salt molecules (sodium chloride) in seawater and produces chlorine and hypochlorite, which prevents the growth of marine organisms in the internal piping system of the FSRU. When the seawater is discharged from the FSRU back into the marine environment, some short-lived residual chlorine would be present before mixing and decay.

    At the point of discharge from the FSRU, the residual concentration of chlorine-produced oxidants (CPO) would be 0.1 milligrams per litre (equal to 100 micrograms per litre). Ballast water undergoes longer storage, and there is more chlorine decay, so the level of CPO in the ballast discharge is taken as 21 ug/L. (6.1.1)

    Section 6.6.3 "Chlorine discharges", in Chapter 6 (Marine biodiversity) of the EES  and Technical Report A, discusses the potential impacts on the marine environment from discharge of seawater containing residual chlorine-produced oxidants (CPO) from the FSRU in more detail.

    Chlorine concentration modelling and analysis has been undertaken to determine the potential implications for the marine ecosystem from any residual chlorine in the seawater discharge from the FSRU.

    Due to the absence of sufficient chlorine toxicity data for marine waters, the CSIRO was engaged to review all available toxicity data for chlorine and develop a guideline Value applicable to marine waters in Western Port that provided 99 per cent species protection.

    The conclusions of the CSIRO review (CSIRO, 2019) are summarised as:

    • For 99 per cent species protection and continuous exposure, the short-term guideline Value for chlorine (CPO) is 2 μg/L where the concentration zone is relatively consistent over time.

    • For 99 per cent species protection and where the concentration is intermittent or variable over time, such as the tidally varying conditions in the North Arm of Western Port, the short-term guideline Value is 6 ug/L.

    Therefore, for this assessment, a guideline Value of 6 ug/L is used for chlorine, based on averaging chlorine exposure over a 12-hour tidal cycle.

    When an LNG carrier is moored adjacent to the FSRU for unloading of LNG, there is a zone under and adjacent to the two vessels in which the Guideline Value for chlorine is predicted to be exceeded which would occur for up to 36 hours while the LNG is moored and up to 40 times a year. The estimated dimensions of the zone in which the chlorine concentration is predicted to exceed 6 μg/L is shown in Chapter 6 Table 6-20 of the EES main report.

    Without an LNG carrier moored adjacent to the FSRU for unloading to the FSRU which will be for a majority of the year, there may be short-term events of local chlorine concentrations above 6 μg/L in weak currents at slack water, although due to low chlorine concentrations through the majority of the tide cycle, the time-averaged chlorine levels are below 6 μg/L.

    Operations in open loop regasification up to peak operations (that is, the highest rate of gas production and so the highest volume of seawater being discharged from the FSRU regasification process when an LNG carrier is not present are therefore assessed as being compliant with the time-averaged chlorine Guideline Value of 6 μg/L.

    Under all modelled operating scenarios, chlorine concentrations over 6 μg/L are confined to the dredged port basin within the operating Port of Hastings and are not predicted to extend to the more ecologically significant areas of Western Port including seagrass beds and intertidal mudflats.

    Only organisms sensitive to a low level and short duration of exposure to chlorine will be affected during the passage through the FSRU or in the plume around the discharge ports – others will survive this short-term event.

    The potential impacts on marine organisms and communities due to chlorine oxidants are directly related to the concentration, duration and frequency of exposure to chlorine.

    Due to dilution over time and decay of the chlorine product, there is no forecast long-term accumulation of chlorine in Western Port and the cumulative effects of the FSRU on chlorine concentration are expected to be negligible.

     

    What is the relationship between this proposal and the shortage of gas forecasted by AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) in Australia’s Southeast region from 2023/2024 onwards?

    The aim of the Project is to meet the needs of industrial, commercial and residential gas customers on the east coast of Australia against a backdrop of predicted gas shortfalls in the south-eastern Australian states from 2024 onwards.

    The Project is part of AGL’s commitment to deliver gas supply certainty to the south-eastern Australian market safely, within agreed timeframes and at competitive prices, while balancing economic, social and environmental factors.

    The abundant gas supplies Victoria has enjoyed since the 1960s are in decline, particularly from the Gippsland Basin fields in Bass Strait. This means that Victoria needs to find alternative sources of gas supply. While Australia is a major exporter of natural gas, most is produced in locations extended distances from demand centres and is not available to customers in the south-eastern states. (Chapter 2 S. 2.1)

    The Victorian economy is highly dependent on gas. Victoria’s gas-intensive manufacturing sector and its cold winters mean the state accounts approximately 50 per cent of gas demand in south-eastern Australia.

    Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia (the south-eastern states) have historically received much of their gas from Victoria’s offshore Gippsland and Otway basins in Bass Strait. These mature southern gas reserves are facing declining production, which will reduce gas availability in Victoria and limit gas exports to New South Wales and South Australia. (Chapter 2 S. 2.2) 

    The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) advised in its 2020 Gas Statement of Opportunities (AEMO, 2020, p. 31) that:

    Supply from existing and committed gas developments will be sufficient to meet forecast gas demand across eastern and south-eastern Australia until at least 2023, provided that liquefied natural gas (LNG) export spot cargoes are redirected to meet domestic demand, if required.

    Several gas fields are forecast to cease production sometime between mid-2023 and mid-2024. If production ceases earlier, this could create peak winter day supply gaps in Victoria in 2023.

    Southern supply from existing and committed gas developments will reduce by more than 35% (163 petajoules [PJ]) over the next five years, despite an increase in committed gas developments in the past year. Unless additional southern supply sources are developed, LNG import terminals are progressed, or pipeline limitations are addressed, gas supply restrictions and curtailment of gas-powered generation (GPG) for the National Electricity Market (NEM) may be necessary on peak winter days in southern states from 2024.

    Anticipated gas field projects (considered likely to proceed within the outlook period) are forecast to improve resource adequacy until at least 2026 if developed. However, due to the location of most of the anticipated projects within Victoria, dynamic operational pipeline constraints would limit their effectiveness in addressing the forecast peak winter day supply gaps under certain conditions.

     

    The EES mentioned the impact of chlorine on barrumundi. Are there barramundi in the bay ?

     Barramundi larvae and juveniles are used, in conjunction with other species, as part of standardised laboratory methods to test the toxicity of substances in the marine environment. The EES does not suggest there are any barramundi in Westernport.

    Two standard acute toxicity tests were chosen to test the acute toxicity of chlorine in seawater at concentrations ranges around that of the proposed discharge from the FSRU.  The test organisms were (1) juvenile marine stage barramundi (Lates calcarifer) and (2) adult marine sand fleas (Allorchestes compressa). They were exposed to a range of initial doses of chlorine in seawater from 0.006 mg/L up to 1 mg/L and were exposed for 96 hours after the initial dose. The results showed no acute lethality to initial doses of 0.006 mg/L up to 1 mg/L of chlorine as hypochlorite in seawater and subsequently over 96 hours of continuous exposure to the mixture after the initial dose. The concentration of chlorine at the point of discharge from the FSRU is

    estimated to be 0.1 mg/L chlorine. Hence, in the framework described above, the tests (two species, 96-hour acute lethality tests) show that the discharge would not result in acute lethality.

    The full toxicity test report is available in Appendix N to the Works Approval Application.

    EPA Works Approval Application 

     

    Could renewable energy alternatives (like wind and solar) be developed within the same time frame as the gas plant proposal to satisfy a similar demand?

    https://www.agl.com.au/solar-renewables

    AGL is already Australia’s largest privately-owned investor in renewable technologies, with a portfolio of large-scale renewable energy assets including: the Hallett wind farms in South Australia; the Macarthur and Oaklands Hill wind farms in Victoria; hydro power stations in Victoria; and the Nyngan and Broken Hill solar plants in New South Wales.

    AGL’s renewables generation fleet plays a critical role in the transition to a decarbonised generation sector to provide valuable low cost and efficient generation over the coming decades while the electricity sector transitions to more renewables and distributed energy resources.

    AGL is retiring its fleet of coal fired power stations, with the first closure being Liddell in 2023, Bayswater in 2035, and Loy Yang A in 2048.  As we move out of coal many of our customers want to be assured that they will have stable and reliable energy supply and gas can support this transition to occur without power supply shortages.

    As coal-fired power stations approach the end of their intended operating life they will need to be replaced with low-cost renewable technology that is firmed by a range of more flexible technologies such as gas-powered generation, hydro, battery storage and demand response.

    A reliable gas supply can be a critical component of this replacement plan. AGL is committed to managing the transition to renewable energy carefully so that the community will continue to have a secure and affordable energy supply.

    Considering the main environmental impacts would be as a result of using seawater to transfer heat to the liquefied natural gas, is there a safer alternative way to do it?

    The FSRU converts stored LNG into natural gas via a process called regasification using an onboard regasification plant. A heat-exchanger is used as an interface to transfer heat from a heat source to the LNG in the regasification train. The regasification trains can operate in either open loop mode, which uses seawater as the heat source, or closed loop mode, which uses gas-fired boilers as the heat source. The FSRU would also be able to operate in closed loop regasification mode and combined loop regasification mode as described in the following sections.

    Options to heat the LNG as part of the regasification process were examined and are summarised in the EES, Chapter 3 – Project Development, s.3.2.4, p.7 in Table 3-2.

    The optimum process depends on various factors including plant site location, climatic conditions, throughput capacities, energy efficiency, emissions and regulatory approvals.

    The potential adverse and beneficial impacts of the FSRU operating in open loop and closed loop regasification modes are set out in the following technical reports and chapters of this EES:

    • EES Technical Report A: Marine biodiversity impact assessment and Chapter 6 Marine biodiversity
    • EES Technical Report F: Greenhouse gas impact assessment and Chapter 11 Greenhouse gas.

    The EES assessment also looked at the use of ambient air heating as a regasification alternative, however it found in Chapter 3 s.3.2.4, p.7:

    While ambient air heating can be an effective solution for FSRUs in warmer climates, it was not considered appropriate for the Gas Import Jetty Works due to the climatic conditions at Crib Point.

    After careful consideration of the regasification alternative modes, the EES investigations concluded in Chapter 3 – Project Development, s.3.2.7, p.12:

    Based on the EES investigations, open loop regasification mode would be used by the FSRU. The main benefit of the open loop regasification mode is that seawater from Western Port can be used by the onboard regasification plant on the FSRU to heat the LNG. This is an efficient and readily available means of heating the LNG without using additional fuel to generate heat for LNG vaporisation. Greenhouse gas emissions from open loop mode are substantially less than closed loop mode (see Chapter 11 Greenhouse gas).

    Combined loop regasification mode would be used when the seawater intake temperature is close to 10oC or below to improve operational efficiency with respect to regaisifcation.  This mode is unlikely to be used for more than 30 days during winter in any given year.  The seawater flow volumes when using the combined loop regasification mode are the same as those for the open loop regasification mode. 

    Closed loop regasification could be used as an alternative to open loop regasification mode, however open loop is the preferred operation mode for the Project.  

    More information can be found in the EES, Chapter 6 - Marine Biodiversity.

    How tall is the FSRU?

    The FSRU is approximately 300 metres long and 50 metres wide with a maximum draft of 12 metres (the distance between the surface of the water and the lowest point of the vessel). The height of the vessel is approximately 50 metres above the sea surface to the top of the exhaust stack.   Details of the FRSU can be found in Chapter 4.  Project Description S.4.3.1. pg 4.9.   It be continuously moored at Berth 2 of the Crib Point Jetty. At times, there may be three vessels at the jetty: the FSRU, a visiting LNG carrier of similar proportions to the FSRU, and potentially a United Petroleum vessel at Berth 1. United Petroleum vessels moor at the Crib Point Jetty on approximately a fortnightly basis.

    The EES, Chapter 14 – Landscape and Visual, s.14.6.1, Figure 14-10 demonstrates Visualisation of the FSRU and LNG carrier from Woolley’s Beach North facing east (United Petroleum carrier present).

    The EES, Chapter 14 – Landscape and Visual, s.14.6.1, pp.7-9 outlines the landscape and visual impact of the FSRU.

    When assessing the landscape and visual impact of the Project, the EES noted on s.14.6.1, p.8:

    …while the significance of visual effects from these viewpoints is moderate, these effects are considered appropriate within the complementary context of the viewpoint, and the existing jetty and maritime industrial activities at the site. This significance rating (moderate) is largely a reflection of the impact on views across Western Port towards French Island consisting largely of flat foreground, sea and sky. The moderate rating was assigned considering a framed view of the Gas Import Jetty Works, without a petroleum tanker (that intermittently docks at Berth 1) or any other surrounding port or maritime activities.

    The EES states on Chapter 14  Landscape and Visual s.14.6.1, p.8:

    Generally, from viewpoints where the Crib Point Receiving Facility and FSRU would be visible, a view of the existing jetty, legacy BP tanks and other industrial maritime activities would provide a background. The mooring of the FSRU and an additional LNG carrier at an existing jetty is consistent with the existing use of the jetty for industrial maritime purposes and the existing landscape character. As such, the operation of the Gas Import Jetty Works is considered to have a minor impact on the landscape character area in the context of the surrounding port and industrial area.

     

    What will the noise impacts of the Project be to the marine ecology of Western Port?

    An assessment of the potential impacts of underwater noise generated by FSRU operations on marine fauna receptors has been carried out and can be found in Annexure I (Underwater noise impact assessment) of the Technical Report A  - Marne biodiversity Impact.

    The findings of this impact assessment conducted by Jasco can be summarised as follows. The planned operations of the FSRU at Berth 2 would contribute to the soundscape in this harbour area but not change the ecological character or reduce the biodiversity of this environment. None of the species listed as endangered or vulnerable under the EPBC Act (Southern right whales, humpback whales and Australian sea lions) nor species listed under the FFG Act (such as white sharks or Australian grayling) and little penguins are at risk from the planned operations as the Gas Import Jetty.

    Is it possible chlorine discharge from the FSRU will impact the food chain in the Sandy Point area where the vulnerable hooded plover has been sighted?

    The extent of combined seawater discharge impacts were explored in the EES, Chapter 6 – Marine Biodiversity, s.6.6.4 P121 outlined:

    The worst-case predicted combined area above the chlorine and temperature Guideline Values would be localised to the Port of Hastings area around the Crib Point Jetty. There are no predicted effects on the shallow edges of North Arm, all seagrass and mangrove areas, all of the northern area of Western Port and all areas used by wading birds.

    In summary, in the worst-case scenario, the area of potential impact for residual chlorine and seawater temperature change extends over 20 hectares around the proposed FSRU location. Mangroves, saltmarsh, seagrasses, subtidal reefs and waterbirds (including wading birds) would not be impacted by the seawater discharge associated with the seawater usage of the FSRU.

    The How will the Project impact Yaringa Marine Ppark? will be affected by the super chilled water. AGL refute this but I proved to them that the super chilled water will travel 12 plus nautical miles instead of their claim of 90 metres. what government bo

    Chapter 6 explores the impact to Marine Biodiversity

    Western Port contains three marine national parks which represent a key component of how environmental values are protected in Western Port:

    • Yaringa Marine National Park (980 hectares), in the north-west corner of Western Port, which contains area of saltmarsh, mangroves, bare intertidal mud and sand flats and subtidal seagrass, with bare sandy sediment in the deeper channels.

    • French Island Marine National Park (2,800 hectares) located in the upper north arm, extending 15 kilometres on the northern side of French Island. Habitat within the park is primarily intertidal and subtidal mud and sand flats supporting seagrass beds. A small patch of intertidal reef is present. Some mangroves are within the southern park boundary, but the majority of the shoreline mangroves and saltmarsh are outside the park boundary.

    • Churchill Island Marine National Park (670 hectares), located between Churchill Island and Long Point on the north-eastern side of Phillip Island. Habitats present include seagrass beds, mangroves, mudflats and sandy beaches. (6.3.1)

    1. closest marine park to Crib Point is the Yaringa Marine National Park, approximately 12 kilometres away (shown in Fig 6.11 on page 6.18 Chapter 6).  Western Port regional context

     Given the distance between the area above the chlorine Guideline Value and the subtidal reef at Yaringa the likelihood of there being any effect from the discharge of chlorine on the subtidal reef is very low. The large distance between the FSRU and Yaringa means that several tidal cycles would be involved in the travel time and chlorine would have dispersed and decayed to zero before it reached the reef. Therefore, the potential impact is considered negligible. (Table 6-21 Summary of impact assessment and risk of discharge of chlorinated water on the environment)

    Do the photos in the EES of an FSRU at Crib Point Jetty accurately represent its size?

    All artistic impressions of the Project in the EES are to scale and based on the blueprints of the jetty and FSRU. Images can be found in the EES, Chapter 14 – Landscape and Visual

    How many jobs will the Project create?

    The Project is expected to employ in excess of 500 workers at the peak of the construction phase of the Project. The majority of the construction workforce for the Project will be specialists sourced from Victoria and interstate. Opportunities for local suppliers and employment will include a range of general trade and support services, such as:

    • crew for the FSRU
    • vegetation management, such as clearing, mulching and rehabilitation
    • construction work for jetty upgrade, remediation and piling and ongoing maintenance
    • catering and food contractors
    • fencing contractors
    • security guards and patrols
    • grading, dozing and excavating
    • water truck driving.

    Once the Project is operational, it is expected that 40 permanent positions will be created at Crib Point. These roles, relating to running the FSRU, as well as security and support, will involve rotating shifts and accordingly, the 40 positions will in practice create employment for well in excess of 40 personnel.

     

    More information about the project benefits can be found in the EES Chapter 2: Project rationale – Section 2.7.

    Will the mangroves near the site be removed?

    The nearest saltmarsh and mangrove habitat to the proposed FSRU and jetty facilities are to the north and south of Crib Point. The wave and current exposure at Crib Point is too high for the establishment of saltmarsh and mangroves. Saltmarsh and mangrove habitat occur near the HMAS Otama Lookout approximately one kilometres west–north-west from the proposed FSRU and to the south of Woolley’s Beach around one kilometre west–south-west FSRU, as shown in Figure 6-28 of Chapter 6 and will not be disturbed as part of construction or operation of the Project

     

     

    How many LNG carriers will there be?

    Chapter 4 – Project description section 4.3 details the Gas Import Jetty works, including the details of the LNG Carriers.  The FSRU would receive LNG from ships known as LNG carriers. LNG carriers are vessels of a similar size and design as the FSRU. The FSRU would initially receive approximately 45 petajoules (PJ) of LNG per annum (approximately 12 LNG carriers). The amount of LNG could increase to 160 PJ per annum (approximately 40 LNG carriers) depending on demand. The number of LNG carriers would also depend on their storage capacity, which could vary from 140,000 to 170,000 m3.

    Should I be worried about an accident with visiting LNG carriers?

    FSRUs and LNG carriers operate around the world without significant incidents. LNG carriers also operate in Australia.  As part of the EES, a preliminary QRA was undertaken to assess the hazards and risks associated with the Jetty Infrastructure.  This included, marine operations (such as approach and mooring) of the FSRU, LNG carrier and United Petroleum tankers.  The results of the QRA are discussed in Section 9 of Technical Report K. 

    Technical Report K – Safety, hazard and risk assessment Section 6.4 details the regulatory Framework for FSRU, including the LNG carriers.  The safety requirements that apply to vessels that are part of the Gas Import Jetty Works would require a number of regulators to oversee those requirements. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is the primary regulator for the FSRU, however it is envisaged that WorkSafe Victoria  would co-regulate the safe operations on the FSRU. AMSA would also be involved to some degree for certain operational activities, including the LNG carriers.

    The VRCA and the Harbour Master would have a key role in regulating the safe movement of the FSRU, safety at berth for the FSRU, and for the arrival and departure of LNG carriers in Port and the transfer and delivery of LNG from and between these vessels. The FSRU's permanently moored operations, other operations at port and the arrival and departure of LNG carriers will be conducted within the safety legislation framework of the Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic).

    If an emergency occurs whilst a ship is transiting into/out of Port waters, the vessel  Emergency Response Plan (ERP) will be initiated within the framework of the VRCA Emergency Management Plan (EMP), supported by the PoHDA EMP. The Incident Controller for both plans is fulfilled by the Harbour Master or their delegate. The emergency response capability for the LNG carriers will be integrated in the early stages of an LNG carrier arriving at Crib Point. This process will occur each time an LNG carrier arrives at Crib Point and prior to Ship to Ship transfers . The impact on the FSRU at berth arising from an incident during unloading operations at the United Petroleum will be considered in the ERP.

    Emergency support to an LNG carrier in the Port of Hastings prior to mooring at Crib Point is managed by the Harbour Master and VRCA Emergency Management Plan. The Operations phase emergency structure for the Gas Import Operations is identified in Figure 10-2. On page 78 of Technical Report K.

    Section 6.6.5 of Chapter 6, Marine Biodiversity details the impact of Spills and leaks of contaminants.

    In the event of a spill, and in accordance with the prevailing International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Marpol requirements, all vessels are equipped with a Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) which provides guidance to the crew onboard on the measures to be taken if an oil pollution incident has occurred or is likely to occur. The SOPEP address various scenarios such as transfer system leaks, tank overflow, fuel tank / hull leaks from penetration and the like and also contains an overview of the oil spill response equipment available onboard the vessel. Monthly oil pollution prevention drills are typically carried out onboard an FSRU, potentially involving deployment of onboard response equipment depending the scenario being rehearsed. The risk of spills and leaks during FSRU operation would be managed with documented standard operation procedures (SOPs) and by ensuring compliance with the Port of Hastings Development Authority Safety and Environmental Management Plan and Port Operating Handbook.

    Will the Project import fracked gas?

    Most of the gas produced in the world still comes from traditional sources, not fracking or shale gas, and we are most likely to buy gas from traditional sources such as from Qatar and Africa

    Is the pipeline capable of bidirectionality and if so, does AGL plan to export gas?

    The project is being undertaken to address a forecast regional shortage of gas and this makes an export scenario highly unlikely.

    The pipeline has been designed as a bi-directional pipeline to allow gas to flow from Crib Point to Pakenham and also from Pakenham to Crib Point. This provides flexibility in the future to continue to use the pipeline as part of the regional supply network when the import facility is no longer required. APA and AGL are not considering the pipeline to be utilised for export purposes.

    Who is APA?

    APA is an Australian energy infrastructure business. APA owns 15,000 kilometres of natural gas pipelines which connect sources of supply and markets across mainland Australia. APA operates and maintains networks connecting 1.4 million Australian homes and businesses to natural gas. APA also owns or has interests in gas storage facilities, gas-fired power stations and renewable energy generation (wind and solar farms).

    The Southern Brown Bandicoot is an endangered species and the pipeline goes through their habitat. Where does the EES consider this?

    The project assessed Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) listed under the EPBC Act. One of the main species assessed under the MNES was the Southern Brown Bandicoot. The presence of this species had a direct influence on the project design and route selection. 

    Findings on the Southern Brown Bandicoot are discussed throughout the Chapter 7: Terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity, and an independent assessment of the impact on this species can be found in Technical Report B: Terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity impact assessment.

    The main sections of Technical Report B which reference the assessment of the Southern Brown Bandicoot include:

    • Section 4.1 Methodology - Existing conditions assessment – Southern Brown Bandicoot
    • Section 5 - 5.2.3.2- Fauna Habitat – Southern Brown Bandicoot
    • Section 6 – Risk Assessment
    • Section 7 – Impact Assessment
    • Section 8 – Mitigation Measures

    A range of mitigation measures would be used to minimise impacts on the Southern Brown Bandicoot, including reducing the risk of injuring individuals:

    The below is an extract from the EES Chapter 7 – Terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity – Section 7.7.8 Significant species:

    … The Project is considered unlikely to have a significant impact on Southern Brown Bandicoot. Mitigation measures would be implemented to minimise potential impacts to individuals where possible, including maintaining dispersal corridor functionality. Other mitigation includes ensuring all Project personnel are inducted and aware of Southern Brown Bandicoot habitat areas as well as the reinstatement of vegetation structure and groundcover at locations of known habitat.

    The project has avoided or minimised habitat loss through route selection, retention of native vegetation at HDD and bore locations where practicable, and reinstatement.

    The below is an extract from the EES Chapter 7 – Terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity – Section 7.11 Mitigation measures:

    Dense cover of suitable native shrubs, or vegetation of similar structure, will be reinstated in any of the 19 locations of Southern Brown Bandicoot habitat impacted by the construction footprint by planting of semi-mature native shrubs or fast-growing tubestock, other than within 4 m of the pipeline and a narrow track to allow ground access for surveillance patrols. For areas within 4 m of the pipeline, revegetation will be limited to shallow-rooted ground cover species.