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Emergency gas delivery proves importance of virtual pipelines and increases use of LPG

BOC in Australia, a member of the Linde Group, has used an innovative road tanker to secure natural gas supplies for a South Australian hospital, after a local pipeline ruptured.

A pipeline ruptured in April, leaving the city of Whyalla in South Australia without natural gas. To address the supply shortage, BOC drove one of its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tankers from Victoria to Whyalla.

The tankers can convert LNG into natural gas. BOC General Manager LNG, Alex Dronoff said BOC and APA Group injected the natural gas into a section of the local pipeline yesterday afternoon “Making sure Whyalla Hospital had access to natural gas was our first priority,” Mr Dronoff said.

“We’re delighted that some other parts of Whyalla will also be able to access this temporary gas supply as well, until the main pipeline is repaired.”

Gas Energy Australia’s CEO Mike Carmody commended BOC on its responsiveness “BOC’s extensive east coast gas supply network, and the advanced technology used by its tankers, allowed BOC to respond to this situation quickly and effectively. The response also complemented the increased use of bottled LPG in the wake of the rupture,” Mr Carmody said. “This highlights the important role that virtual pipelines play in transporting natural gas and LPG in Australia.”

The term ‘virtual pipeline’ refers to the supply and transportation of gas by truck, instead of the gas being carried by a physical network of pipeline infrastructure.  “Virtual pipelines don’t require any permanent infrastructure, apart from refuelling facilities, and as such they can change their route or destination based on consumer needs,” Mr Carmody said.  “Australia is a vast country with many regional and remote communities that depend on gas for heating, cooking, and even power generation.  “In areas where there are no gas networks, or when there’s an issue with this infrastructure, it’s comforting to know that the industry can respond with trucks that provide communities with a gas supply solution by delivering natural gas and LPG cylinders.”

For more information visit http://gasenergyaustralia.asn.au/