10 November 2023
Melbourne gas mains ready for 100% renewable hydrogen
A renewable hydrogen-powered future is a step closer in Victoria, with Australian Gas Networks (AGN), part of Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), completing two decades of upgrades to its infrastructure, which means its gas mains supplying the state are world class and hydrogen-ready.
From Melbourne’s CBD to Mill Park, Dandenong to Echuca, Bairnsdale to Portsea – our investment of nearly $600 million in the AGN mains replacement program – changing from legacy steel and cast iron to new polyethylene and protected-steel pipes – means our mains are among the safest and most reliable of anywhere in the world, operating with fewer fugitive emissions and compatible with delivering 100% renewable hydrogen with minor incremental investment.
“Australia has some of the world’s most modern networks, and now Melbourne has 100% polyethylene and protected-steel mains, making it a hydrogen-ready city” said AGIG CEO Craig de Laine.
“Our mains replacement program, while driven by improving safety, means our AGN mains are now hydrogen-ready, with work to replace the mains on our other Victorian network, Multinet Gas Network, set to be complete in under a decade.
“The majority of Victorians use gas today, and our customers tell us they want to use renewable gas into the future. It is that future we are investing in through our mains replacement program and beyond.
“Our investment in Hydrogen Park Murray Valley in Wodonga means that 40,000 households, businesses and industrial sites in the region, are set to be the first Victorians to receive hydrogen blends of up to 10 per cent in just 18 months’ time.
"HyHome – our hydrogen-ready demonstration home in Melbourne - is fitted with a cooktop, ducted heating, hot water and BBQ operating on 100% hydrogen, which looks and performs the same as gas appliances today. This showcases that hydrogen is a ready to move technology that can be part of everyday living for Victorians.
“We have always said there is no single solution to the enormous task of decarbonising our homes and businesses.
“We need more options, not fewer, to give us the greatest chance of achieving Australia’s emissions reduction targets while maintaining the security, reliability and diversity of energy supply the community expects – and also ensure there is ongoing energy market competition to deliver decarbonisation at lowest cost.
“It makes good economic sense – especially given the cost of living crisis - to use existing infrastructure which Victorians have already invested in to deliver new forms of renewable energy like hydrogen and biomethane while keeping our system secure and reliable.
“Today gas allows our Victorian customers to cook their dinners and heat their homes with far fewer emissions than coal fired electricity, and with greater reliability.
“Tomorrow, renewable gas, like renewable hydrogen and biomethane, can ensure Victorians continue to be empowered to make the energy choices best for their circumstances while bringing down emissions with a new source of renewable energy.
“New research by the Australian Hydrogen Centre released just last week, shows 100% renewable hydrogen to homes and businesses is a technically and economically viable path for Victorians – and, importantly, can be delivered at comparable cost to today.
“What’s more, this research shows development of the sector could create more than 15,000 new jobs across Victoria – 10,300 in construction and more than 5,300 ongoing.
“AGIG is proud to be a leading investor in renewable gas – but the key to continued investment and maximising the emissions reduction and economic benefits for Victorians is ensuring we have supportive government policy to create a sustainable investment environment.
"We want to be able to continue to make investments and realise our low carbon vision of fully transitioning our gas distribution networks to renewable gas by 2040 as a stretch target and by no later than 2050.
“The hydrogen-ready mains we now have can be the foundation for a clean, renewable energy system for the families, businesses and industries we serve. AGIG stands ready to build on our existing investments and help deliver a renewable gas future for Victorians”
AGIG owns, operates and invests in infrastructure which delivers gas to more than two million homes and businesses. It powers generators, mines, manufacturers and household appliances and the combined network makes AGIG one of the largest gas infrastructure businesses in Australia.
AGIG manages over 35,000km of world-class distribution networks, more than 4,300km of transmission pipelines and 60 petajoules of storage capacity, valued at a combined $10 billion. We employ approximately 400 people with more than 1,600 contractors working on our business.
AGIG is leading the Australian renewable hydrogen industry, with the establishment of Hydrogen Park SA, the largest electrolyser in Australia, the construction of Hydrogen Park Murray Valley and several other renewable hydrogen and biomethane projects in development.
AGIG has a low carbon vision to deliver 100% renewable gas by no later than 2050, with at least 10% renewable gas blends delivered to homes and businesses though our distribution networks by 2030.
For Further Information Contact
Shari Lapthorne – Manager Corporate Affairs
M +61 418 937 134