Welcome to the sixth edition of ceNEWS for 2020

The message from CEO Steve Davies is now available on video and it's less than four minutes long.

You can see it by clicking this link. If you'd prefer to read the words, they are below. The content is not guaranteed to be the same. Give the video a try. And while you're there, leave a comment or like the video. Steve likes the feedback!

Message from the CEO

July marks the start of the new financial year and, for APGA in 2020, the end of an era. Our long-serving Business Manager, Steve Dobbie, has begun the transition to retirement. Many plans have been thrown out the window in 2020, and Steve’s retirement plan is no exception. He will be staying with us on a part-time basis to help with the planning for the Virtual Convention. This also allows us to push back the commencement of our new Engagement Manager and enables some economies for a few months.

It’s great that we are still benefiting from Steve’s experience and knowledge, but now is the time to say a huge thank you to Steve for everything he has done for APGA over the more than 16 years he has spent here. For many, he is the face of APGA’s events and has been a welcome presence at the registration desk warmly greeting old friends and newcomers alike. Steve has also been the primary driver of APGA’s corporate governance for close to two decades and, while he is leaving in challenging times, the strong financial position we find ourselves in is no accident and leaves us well equipped to face an uncertain year or two.

Finally, Steve had been one of the leaders of the association for so many years, central to the great work that has been delivered through our Pipeline Operators Group, Research and Standards Committee and Board. His presence and guidance will be missed in many of our activities but I know the systems he has set up and the example he has set us will help the association to continue to deliver quality outcomes for our industry in the years ahead. Steve, thank you and all the best in your well-deserved retirement.

In June, we made the difficult decision to postpone this year’s Annual Convention and Exhibition in Brisbane to next year and we are focussing on delivering a great event virtually. As we are reminded by the spike in Victoria, there is a long way to go before we are through the COVID-19 crisis and we are conscious that virtual gatherings will be with us for the foreseeable future. We should have plenty more to report by the end of July so please keep an eye out for information on this and our other upcoming virtual events.

Board

The Board held its third meeting of the year in June and is pleased to report to members:

The Board’s has responded proactively to the COVID-19 crisis and this has resulted in the association’s strong financial position being retained. This is one of APGA’s many positive attributes that is encouraging new members to join and many existing members to renew early.

APGA is being innovative in developing a virtual Convention with a program and events which should appeal to all members, the Board is keen for this event to live up to the association’s usual standard despite the challenging times and changed delivery.

Steve Dobbie has formally resigned as Company Secretary. Peter Heffernan has been appointed Secretary and the Business Manager’s position has been separated into a Corporate Services Manager’s position with Peter Heffernan appointed and an Engagement Manager who will begin the role later this year.

APGA Annual Awards

Nominations for the APGA Annual Awards are open for one more month.

The annual awards provide official and public recognition to individuals and companies for their services to the pipeline and gas industries.

There are six categories of awards:

  • APGA Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Pipeline Industry

  • APGA Young Achievement Award

  • APGA Safety Award
  • APGA Environment Award

  • APGA Jeff Shepherd Construction Excellence Award

  • APGA Diversity and Inclusion Award

These are respected awards in an industry that has demonstrated foresight and innovation. This year sees the introduction of a new award – the Diversity and Inclusion award. The APGA Board strongly supported the establishment of this award to recognises and promote the positive contribution made by an APGA member company that has demonstrated an outstanding contribution or new initiative to encourage diversity and inclusion within the Australian pipeline and gas industries in the past 12 months. Don’t miss this opportunity to nominate someone (or a company) deserving of recognition in any of these award categories. Closing date for nominations is Friday 31 July 2020. Find nomination forms and further information.

APGA Knowledgebase

APGA’s online Knowledgebase is moving to a new database platform where searching for technical documents will be a whole lot easier. Access wil be via the APGA website as it is now, All members will be sent a standardised password initially, and the first time you log-on you ahould set up your own individual password that you can remember or be reminded of however you are usually reminded about passwords, such as via an app. Your user name will be the same as for the APGA website. Members will be notified when the APGA Knowledgebase is launched.

Free virtual seminar

APGA is pleased to partner with the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry  to deliver its next Energy and Resources online event, Powering Australia's next gold rush, on Thursday 23 July.

With the price of gold at 30-year highs, gold production ramping up globally and Australia set to become the number one gold producer in the world, gold mining is powering ahead. And what, exactly, will be powering these new mines?

 Governments across the world are being asked to consider environmentally sustainable investments as the world invests in infrastructure to help the post-COVID19 recovery, and big energy users like mines are already moving to use emerging energy technologies like renewables and batteries, often combined with natural gas.

This seminar will look at three key components in that energy pipeline: the buyer and selector of technology (the mine), the supplier of grid connection (gas pipeline network operator), and the technology supplier (combining energy various sources to optimise long-term reliability, cost and emissions).

Join us on Thursday 23 July 6.00pm AEST. Booking your place now. Free for APGA members.

Membership renewals

A big thankyou to all the members who have already renewed their membership subscription for 2020/21. It bodes well for the vitality of the association in the next year and into the future. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your membership or renewal options, please do not hesitate to contact APGA’s Membership Officer, Katy Spence.

Gas and energy policy

Several reports have been published over the past weeks highlighting the role of gas in both the post COVID-19 economic recovery and in helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the long term. However, the Technology Investment Roadmap Discussion Paper had perhaps the most significant long-term implications for the role of gas in the Australian economy.

The discussion paper takes a flexible, technology-neutral approach to developing a framework to accelerate low emissions technologies – so if a technology can contribute to lower emissions, then it can be considered under the Roadmap on its own merits. This approach is strongly welcomed by APGA.  It means that the relatively low emissions intensity of natural gas, the strong decarbonisation pathway of gaseous fuels (in their own right or supporting greater renewables uptake) and the economic value of cost-effective, domestic energy resources puts gas in an excellent position to play a strong and positive role in Australia’s energy mix for the foreseeable future.

Two key areas of opportunity for the gas industry that are compatible with the goals of the Roadmap are: the production and distribution of low or net zero carbon gases such as biomethane and ‘blue’ hydrogen; and using gas-fired power generation to support much greater uptake of wind and solar electricity generation in the electricity system (i.e. renewables firming).

In our submission to the paper, APGA highlighted the need for the Roadmap to recognise the importance of gas in the Australian energy system. Often overlooked in discussions on energy investment and initiatives to decarbonise the energy system is that ‘electricity’ is not synonymous with ‘energy’.

Natural gas provides more end-use energy to the Australian economy than electricity, with 943 PJ gas delivered to Australian end-users vs. 835 PJ electricity in 2017-18 (Australian Energy Update 2019). Gaseous energy is used as high-quality heat across all economic activities and is in addition to the 21 per cent of electricity that is generated by gas-fired power generators (which is not counted in the end-use figures above). It is a critical part of Australia’s energy and manufacturing prosperity mix.

The critical role of gas must be taken into account when considering future options for decarbonising the energy system, which is why a technology neutral approach is so important. The development and deployment of low emissions technologies that leverage the high proportion of the energy load currently met using gaseous and liquid fuels, and the supporting transmission and distribution infrastructure, will have significantly lower economic cost than proposals to simply ‘electrify everything’.

To take another example, APGA’s submission to the Discussion Paper also highlighted the importance of government’s role in creating and maintaining a favourable investment environment. Government must get this right so that industry can make the high level of investment that is critical to unlocking the potential of gas to play a key role in accelerating the development and deployment of low emissions technologies in Australia.

Read APGA’s full submission.

Safer Together

Safer Together has made available a number of protocols developed in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. They are available here: https://www.safertogether.com.au/coronavirus-covid-19-industry-updates

Gas Speak

The COVID-19 crisis means there is still an ongoing uncertainty on crossing State borders, restrictions that hinder the ability to meaningfully socialise at events and company restrictions on employee travel to attend non-essential meetings. As a result, the Board of the Australian Gas Industry Trust has reluctantly decided to cancel this year’s three-day Gas Speak Colloquium 2020 and one- day Executive Training course. Both events are planned to be held in 2021.

Committee news

Research and Standards Committee

The RSC held a shortened virtual Zoom meeting on 11 June and 38 members participated in many fruitful discussions. The group agreed that, while the Zoom meeting worked well to bring people together during these strange times, the face-to-face meetings for the RSC are still the preferred option because of the many discussions held to the side during the day. The remaining RSC meeting for 2020 is scheduled to be held in Adelaide on Thursday 12 November and it is hoped that the COVID-19 restrictions will have been lifted by then to allow this to be a face-to-face meeting. 

Pipeline Operators Group
With the postponement of the face-to-face 2020 APGA Convention until September 2021, details of the next POG meeting are yet to be finalised and the format of the meeting will depend on the level of COVID-19 restrictions in place. With meetings scheduled for April and October in a normal year, this will be the second of the normal POG meetings.

YPF

WA YPF is holding its annual combined APGA/YPF Quiz Night on Thursday 9 July. This year will be a bit different with a virtual quiz online using Zoom but it will be just as fun and a great chance to catch up with your peers from anywhere. Create a team or join individually. Register here.

NT, NSW and Qld YPF are hosting a hydrogen webinar on The Western Sydney Green Gas Project.
Presented by Jemena Project Manager Jarrod Irving and GPA Engineering Mechanical Engineering Daniel Krosch, hear about Jemena’s five-year trial to construct a power to gas facility at its existing high-pressure gas facility at Horsley Park in Sydney. This Webinar is open to all APGA Members. Register here.

SA YPF is looking for a new Chair and committee members. After two years of being at the helm and reinvigorating the SA YPF, Holly May from Fyfe is stepping down as Chair. If you are interested in joining the SA YPF Committee please contact APGA.

Expressions of interest.
APGA is in the process of reviewing its Strategic Plan and is looking for young people to be involved as part of a working group to help shape the future. If you are interested or would like more information, please contact Charmaine Ogilvie.

Events

APGA 2020 Virtual Convention and Exhibition

As members have been previously advised, the 2020 APGA Convention will be held as a virtual event this year. The program and schedule are being finalised, but it will be held over the week of 19 to 23 October. Please put these dates into your calendars now. The week’s program will feature a daily two-hour business program, the presentation of the 2020 APGA Awards and two virtual social events – a Fancy Dress networking event on Tuesday 20 October and a closing happy hour to finish the Convention off on Friday 23 October. The traditional delegate pack will be available, along with a smaller number than usual of sponsorship opportunities, the details of which are almost ready for circulation. While there won’t be a full virtual Exhibition, all of our 2020 Exhibitors will be featured and will have several options to promote their products and services so that delegates can view this important information.

The plan is to open registrations up towards the end of July, however, if you need any further information about this year’s event, please talk to Steve Dobbie. While he is retiring from full-time work, Steve has agreed to manage this year’s event on a part-time basis and so he can be contacted on his normal mobile number and email address.

Upcoming events

Unfortunately, all of the regular face-to-face APGA networking and technical events have now been cancelled until the end of October 2020. Some of these events are being replaced by Zoom web events but rest assured that we will be seeking to reintroduce our regular events as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.

Following the success of the POG Webinar series, the annual APGA HS&E seminar has been replaced by an HS&E Webinar series. The program has been finalised by the Chair of the HS&E committee, John Stuart-Robertson, and we thank our two sponsors of the event, Nacap Australia and, new APGA member, LocusView. The first of the webinars will be held on Wednesday 22 July and registration information will be circulated shortly.