The Long Island Point Plant Ethane Generation Project
Esso Australia has been a proud member of the Hastings community for more than 50 years. During that time, we have delivered highly skilled jobs and business opportunities to the region and created significant, long-lasting economic benefits for our country.
Our people are proud to supply sustainable Gippsland gas to power over 80% of the Victorian gas market from our integrated operations spanning Bass Strait, Longford and Hastings.
The Long Island Point Plant plays an important role in Victoria’s supply of energy, processing the associated gas liquids from our Longford gas production, to create ethane, propane and butane.
Propane and butane is sent to domestic and overseas customers via truck, ship or pipeline, while all ethane from Long Island Point is currently provided as feedstock to a petrochemical manufacturing facility in Melbourne’s west.
When the customer is unable to accept the ethane as a result of planned or unplanned maintenance, in most cases, we either need to reduce the gas liquids flowing to Long Island Point, reducing the supply of propane and butane to Victoria, or need to flare the ethane. In some circumstances, this could even result in the need to significantly curtail our supply of natural gas in order to reduce the production of the associated gas liquids, which would impact the ability of Victorians to heat our homes and power our businesses.
To ensure we do not need to curtail our supply of Gippsland gas, three small, modern, efficient ethane power generation units will be installed at the Long Island Point Plant, capable of converting ethane into 35-40 megawatts of electricity to power Victorian homes, while ensuring we can maintain our reliable supply of natural gas and natural gas liquids across the east coast.
As well as supporting Victoria’s reliable gas supplies, this project supports Australia’s energy transition between gas and renewables. While initially supporting the ethane generation project, these generators could be repurposed over time to run on methane or even hydrogen, and could provide a dispatchable, back-up power source to support greater use of renewables in future.
The project will create 150 construction jobs, as well as ongoing operational roles for the community.
We expect there will be minimal impacts to the community from the project construction, which is set to take place within the existing Long Island Point Plant during 2023.
If you have any questions about the project, feel free to reach out via communityANZ@exxonmobil.com.