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‘Missed opportunity’ for Australian LNG highway

LNG Industry,

According to Gas Energy Australia (GEA), the latest Federal Budget has missed an opportunity to support the development of an LNG highway.

LNG transport was one of the main features of the government’s Policy for Resources and Energy, released in September 2013. The document claims that the government “will work with industry to facilitate the development of logistics systems for LNG as a transport fuel, particularly in the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne transport corridors.”

It also recognises that “…the emergence of localised LNG production plants to service the growing uptake of LNG as an alternative to diesel for interstate haulage vehicles provides a real opportunity to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offer financial benefits to users.”

LNG investment?

Mike Carmody, GEA CEO, stressed that while the industry is attempting to hold up its end of the bargain by investing in LNG, such as BOC’s LNG micro plant near Chinchilla, Queensland and AGL’s LNG plant near Newcastle, New South Wales, the government has yet to contribute.

Carmody noted: “As we head to the back end of the government’s first term, it’s disappointing that the opportunity to support increased uptake of this cleaner, cheaper, Australian fuel has been missed in this year’s budget.

“If anything, changes to excise policy have hurt the emerging LNG fuel industry and made the government’s commitment harder to meet. Despite promises from both sides of politics that these fuels would not be excised at more than 50% of the diesel energy equivalent – reiterated in the recently released Energy White Paper – natural gas fuels are now taxed at over 70% of the diesel equivalent and rising.”

Displace diesel

Highlighting the economic and environmental benefits of LNG, Carmody added: “Less reliance on imported fuel, reduced fuel costs, cleaner air, more local jobs and a stronger economy – that’s what using more natural gas fuels for transport and stationary energy could help achieve for Australia by displacing the use of […] diesel.

“GEA looks forward to working with the government toward meeting this election commitment in the next Budget,” he concluded.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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