LEADING energy-infrastructure company, Jemena, has signed a new gas transportation contract with Santos to ship around eight terajoules (TJs) of gas per day across the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP).

Gas transported as part of the agreement will be used to provide energy for local mining and mineral processing operations in the Mount Isa region.

The new agreement means around 80 per cent of the NGP’s total available capacity in year one of operations has now been contracted.

Jemena’s executive general manager of Corporate Development, Antoon Boey, said the new contract reinforces the important role the NGP will play in supporting jobs and communities in regional Australia.

“Today’s announcement proves strategic investment decisions like the Northern Gas Pipeline can help to mitigate forecast gas shortages while bolstering local industry and strengthening the Northern Territory’s growing gas credentials,” said Mr Boey.

The agreement comes after Jemena announced it had signed a contract with Incitec Pivot Limited (IPL) to deliver 32TJs of gas per day to IPL’s Gibson Island facility in Queensland. This facility employs around 400 staff during normal operations and up to 800 staff during peak periods.

Mr Boey said the new agreement will see Jemena transport gas for three years from the first day of commercial pipeline operations for Santos.

“This agreement provides more much-needed gas to the mining and processing sector in the Mount Isa area, and is a positive for the local community, who will benefit not only from jobs which rely on gas as a direct feedstock, but from the flow-on effects of having a vibrant local economy and industry,” said Mr Boey.

Santos Managing Director and CEO Mr Kevin Gallagher said the NGP transportation agreement reached with Jemena is a great example of how Santos is collaborating across the supply chain to make domestic gas available where and when it is needed, efficiently and at competitive prices.

“This is a great commercial outcome for all the parties involved and it is also good for the east coast domestic gas market, connecting the Northern Territory into this supply grid,” Mr Gallagher said.

“It’s absolutely critical that we continue to open up new gas supply sources to service the domestic market as existing, mature fields decline.”