APA Group on Sunday successfully restored the supply of gas via its temporary LNG solution enabling Jemena to start reconnecting some gas supply to the Wallerawang, Lithgow, and Oberon areas.

APA and Jemena would like to thank all of those involved in this solution, which will see gas restored to those communities slightly ahead of schedule.

Based on current reconnection rates, and in the event weather conditions hold, Jemena anticipates having all residential and small business customers in Lithgow, Wallerawang, and Oberon restored during the course of this week.

While APA anticipates being able to maintain gas supply to residential and small businesses through the LNG solution until the temporary pipeline solution is complete, it is subject to weather conditions and road access, following heavy rain on Sunday.

We understand the urgency for gas to be restored to these areas and we are working hard to achieve this.

To assist with restoration efforts, APA is providing additional resources to Jemena to help accelerate the reconnection process. Resourcing from APA and Jemena has also been bolstered by support from the local SES, the NSW Rural Fire Service, and Council employees.

The temporary LNG solution involved transporting a 42-tonne LNG storage vessel from Victoria and substantial civil works on site. the LNG storage vessel was connected to the network over the weekend, which allowed Jemena to start reconnections slightly ahead of schedule on Sunday, 13 November 2022.

By close of business on Sunday, 13 November 2022, Jemena estimated having:
• 12% of customers in Lithgow reconnected,
• 38% of customers in Oberon reconnected, and
• 80% of customers in Wallerawang reconnected.

Priority has been given to reconnecting vulnerable customers and welfare support services, decided in consultation with the local communities and councils. Jemena has advised they will also prioritise low gas demand customers such as households and small businesses.

LNG trucks will transport gas from APA’s LNG storage facility in Victoria and from a second facility in Perth to refill the storage vessel.

Temporary pipeline solution

At the same time as the LNG solution is starting to restore some gas supply to these communities, APA crews are progressing the installation of a temporary pipeline solution at the site of the damaged pipeline at the Macquarie River.

When complete, this will enable full gas supply to be reinstated into the Wallerawang, Lithgow and Oberon areas.

While APA has continued to make strong progress on this option with all civil works complete and the temporary pipeline considerably progressed, today’s weather conditions have impacted access to the site. Given these weather conditions, we continue to target the completion as safely and quickly as we can, but we will need to assess this on a daily basis.

After the temporary pipeline is complete, Jemena will commence the process of reconnecting all remaining customers.

Permanent solution

APA is continuing to progress the permanent solution and expects this to be completed around mid-December, subject to weather conditions.

Further updates

APA and Jemena are continuing to work with local Councils, community groups and emergency services to better understand how we can assist and support those in the community who have been impacted.
While access to the pipeline is still restricted due to flooding, APA’s preliminary assessment suggests that the damage was caused by flooding.