APA Group has released concrete plans of its proposal to expand its pipeline infrastructure in Victoria to help meet customer demand.

The company’s plans involve looping four sections of the existing Wollert to Wodonga gas transmission pipeline between Wondong and Glenrowan in Victoria which would aid in meeting contractual requests from clients for the supply of gas.

The expansion plans, being spearheaded by APA GasNet Australia, will involve the construction of a proposed pipeline to be installed within APA’s existing 35m wide easement occupied by the existing Wollert to Wodonga pipeline.

The Wollert to Wodonga gas transmission pipeline was constructed in 1975 and runs in an north easterly direction from the Wollert Compressor Station (WCS) on the northern outskirts of Melbourne through to Wodonga on the southern outskirts of Albury, for a total distance of about 257 kilometres.

There are numerous sections of the route earmarked to be looped together, including Longwood to Violet Town, Mangalore to Longwood, Violet Town to Glenrowan and Wandong to Broadford.

In a recent application to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, APA estimated the total distance of all four loops to be about 135 kilometres.

“The proposed loopings have been carefully designed to meet contractual requests from clients for the supply of gas to the north of Victoria and interstate,” APA said.

“The locations of the loopings take account of the existing Compressor Stations at Wollert and Euroa which will provide the required capacity to enable movement of the additional gas volume along the proposed pipeline.”

In its application, APA said the proposed pipeline would be located about 7 metres east of the existing pipeline.

Pipe is to be laid below the ground surface with a minimum depth of cover of 1200mm for its entire length, with construction works expected to generally involve a clear and grade process that will remove the existing surface cover from the construction ROW, the excavation of a trench of about 700mm width, laying of 400NB diameter pipe, backfilling of the trench and reinstatement of the land surface.

Construction activities associated with the build of the pipeline will involve access to the ROW, centreline survey, installation of temporary gateways, trenching, horizontal directional drilling and the like.

“Land that is disturbed by pipeline construction activities will be rehabilitated so that it is restored to its pre-existing land use within a reasonable time period after construction,” APA said.

In addition, APA will also identify landowner specific requirements and requests, with conditions subject to negotiations.

Preliminary discussions were held with the Victorian Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) at the start of studies for the project, with the department requesting more information on the likely impacts from the project before making a decision.

APA said an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) referral was being submitted following the completion of a number of studies for the project.

“The most significant impact associated with the project under the triggers for an EES is likely to be the amount of native vegetation requiring clearance to allow the project to proceed,” APA said.

“Vegetation within the construction ROW has been assessed in accordance with state guidelines for vegetation quality assessment and any native vegetation to be cleared will be offset in accordance with legislative requirements.”

APA expects construction of the pipeline to start in September 2014, with the project slated for completion by May 2015.