Gippsland gas supports summer power generation in South Australia and Victoria

Esso Australia’s Commercial team has signed its first direct gas sales agreement into South Australia to help meet peak summer power generation demand.
South Australia has one of the world’s highest rates of variable renewable electricity generation, sourcing 50 percent of its electricity from wind and solar in 2019, while a third of South Australian homes utilises rooftop solar.

Natural gas can help to maintain energy supplies when they are needed most by providing a reliable energy source, that can be used when required, to support electricity generation from renewable sources.

“As homes ramp up air-conditioning on hot summer nights, natural gas can help power generators meet the increased demand for electricity,” said Esso Australia Chairman, Nathan Fay.

This summer, gas from Longford is travelling 400km across Melbourne to the Iona Gas Plant near Port Campbell where it is further compressed for transmission to a major power station in Adelaide.

“This is the first time Esso has sold Gippsland gas directly to a major power station in South Australia,” said Nathan.

“This agreement is one example of how we are broadening our customer base and developing flexible contracts to meet customer needs.

“Importantly, our natural gas has a critical role in supporting the reliability of electricity generation that is primarily sourced from renewable energy supplies, making renewable sources more attractive to both consumers and suppliers.”

Esso’s Longford Plants are also helping to meet summer demand by providing excess electricity directly into the Victorian grid.

“The production process at Longford generates electricity, more electricity than we currently need at the plant,’ said Nathan.

“Since 1992 a transformer at Longford transfers any excess electricity from the plant into the electricity grid to bolster supplies.

“From time to time, the amount of excess electricity we put into the grid is enough to power a city twice the size of Sale,” said Nathan.