Alan Carpenter

Alan Carpenter

Premier; Minister for Federal-State Relations; Trade; Innovation; Science; Public Sector Management

    Co-operation and a management plan to deal with gas explosion

    8/06/2008 12:00 AM

    The Premier Alan Carpenter has welcomed a commitment by key industry leaders to work together to minimise the impact of last week’s major gas explosion on Varanus Island.


    The explosion has cut Western Australia’s gas supplies by about 30 per cent.


    Mr Carpenter said that households and emergency services had not been directly affected by the gas shortage and he thanked the key participants for the co-operative way in which the emergency had been managed.


    “We all need to pull together when events like this occur,” he said.


    “This teamwork was evident at today’s meeting of energy sector and industry leaders where a plan to manage the gas shortages was developed.


    “The meeting was convened after Apache Energy revealed on Friday that it would take months - not weeks - before any gas would start flowing from its Varanus Island natural gas plant and that full restoration could take longer.


    “The plan will help lessen the pain felt by those sections of industry that relied on gas from Apache.”


    The State Government would take a leadership and co-ordination role aimed at:


    ·          accessing gas from North-West Shelf, and other smaller gas suppliers;

    ·          accessing energy from other sources, to free-up gas. This included fast-tracking the 110MW Kwinana coal-fired power station, which was currently undergoing winter maintenance;

    ·          encouraging gas and electricity customers not to waste energy;

    ·          working with industry to shift demand to low peak times;

    ·          ensuring diesel is available to replace natural gas where possible; and

    ·          establishing a working group comprising representatives of the Premier’s Office, the Energy Minister’s Office, Office of Energy, Western Power, Alinta, Synergy, Verve Energy, the Dampier to Bunbury Pipeline, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


    “We are also asking all Western Australians to be mindful of their electricity and gas use during this period,” the Premier said.


    “The message is, do not waste gas or electricity.


    “While there is no threat to electricity or gas supplies for households, the energy saved through more efficient residential use can be diverted to the industries in need.


    “The same principle applies to industry. It might consider bringing forward scheduled maintenance, changing shift arrangements or altering thermostat settings and lighting regimes to reduce energy use.”


    Mr Carpenter said the State Government was committed to the welfare of the entire State, particularly those most impacted by the gas shortage.


    “I am confident that the vast majority of people in our State will come together to work co-operatively to minimise the negative impact of this gas supply shortage.”


    Premier's office - 9222 9475