Fuelling growth: Australia’s energy options
Origin is the largest owner and developer of gas-fired power generation in Australia. Origin also produces renewable energy from wind farms.
The total operating generation capacity of Origin’s power stations is currently 2,250 MW and this will be increased to 2,800 MW by the upcoming completion of the Mort Lake Power Station. Origin has a growing portfolio of power generation facilities, operating eight power stations across New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. Nearly all of Origin’s power stations are fuelled by natural gas. One peaking plant, Mt Stuart in Queensland, is capable of conversion to gas once a reliable gas supply is available.
When used for electricity production, natural gas produces less carbon emissions than a typical coal-fired power station. Combined cycle gas turbine technology, such as that used at Origin’s Darling Downs Power Stations, is the cleanest in terms of carbon emissions, producing less than half of the carbon emissions of a typical coal-fired power station. Origin also has a 50 per cent interest in three co-generation plants which supply electricity and steam under long-term contracts.
Origin Energy currently has its major production interests in the Cooper Basin, which has been the principal supplier of natural gas to New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. The Cooper Basin producers entered into a long-term gas supply arrangement with AGL in December 2002 in which 505 PJ of gas will be supplied between 2003 and 2016. Other onshore production interests are located in the Surat and Bowen Basins in Queensland (the latter including the Denison Trough), in the Otway Basin (in the south east of South Australia and western Victoria) and in the Perth and Carnarvon Basins in Western Australia.
Australia’s largest producer of coal seam gas (CSG), Origin Energy has interests in major CSG fields at Spring Gully, Fairview and Peat in the Bowen Basin in central Queensland.
Origin operates all but one (Fairview) of its CSG producing assets and has extensive CSG exploration areas in the Bowen and Surat Basin, the latter covering the Walloon Coals which also have a large, as yet undeveloped, potential. Origin is in a position to further commercialize the large CSG resource represented by the Walloon coal measures of Queensland’s Bowen and Surat Basins as a source of natural gas supplying Queensland and the eastern states of Australia. Offshore, Origin is the operator of the Bass gas Project which was commissioned in 2006 to deliver gas, condensate and LPG to the Victorian market.
Grant King, on the future of Energy in Australia.
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