Members of APGA’s Research and Standards Committee (RSC) pay an additional annual fee to participate in the work of thee committee. The committee advises on research projects that are undertaken by the Energy Pipelines CRC to ensure they are relevent to the needs of the pipeline industry. RSC members have immediate access to locally relevant research results that can make pipelines safer and more efficient, and give member companies a competitive advantage.

The research focuses on improving the safety and reliability of pipelines and reducing the costs of pipeline design, construction and operations. In addition to direct funding, RSC member companies also contribute valuable in-kind support that, in recent years, has brought the total value of its research program to more than $2 million per year.

Critically, the RSC works closely with the pipeline committees of Standards Australia to ensure research results can be quickly applied to the industry’s national standard, AS 2885, for the benefit of the industry and wider community.

Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre

In June 2010 a campaign led by RSC culminated in the official opening of the Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre. A partnership of the RSC, the University of Adelaide, the University of Wollongong, Deakin University and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the Energy Pipelines CRC received more than $17 million in Australian Government funding over its life cycle which is set to be completed in mid-2019. A further $10 million has been provided by RSC members, with more than $50 million of in-kind support being provided by the universities and industry (predominantly from APGA and RSC members).

While the Energy Pipelines CRC has created partnerships in government and academia, pipeline research remains industry-driven. The RSC is still the primary avenue for our industry to determine its research priorities and RSC members are advisers to the research programs being conducted by the Energy Pipeline CRC. Find out more about the Energy Pipelines CRC.

International collaboration

Even in the earliest days of the RSC, the members recognised the benefits of international collaboration and developed a formal relationship with the world’s leading pipeline research organisations – the US-based Pipeline Research Council International and the European Pipeline Research Group. APGA’s links with these organisations were formalised, allowing RSC members confidential access to pipeline research undertaken by North American and European researchers, helping to reduce duplication of research efforts by all groups. The three research organisations also meet biennially at a Joint Technical Meeting to share results, discuss issues and determine future research priorities for the industry.

Achievements

  • Creating an industry-driven and funded research program in advance of government funding.
  • Securing government and university support to establish the Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre.
  • Creating a formal relationship with the world’s leading pipeline research groups to share results and determine research priorities.

Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre

The Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) was launched in 2018. It reflects the vision of Australia’s gas and pipelines sector, focusing on the pivotal role that new fuels and the existing gas infrastructure will have to play in a low carbon economy. 

The Future Fuels CRC will enable the Australian gas and pipeline industry to provide a competitive, low carbon energy alternative for residential, commercial, industrial and transport sectors to complement and support intermittent renewable electricity generation.

Significant opportunity exists to adapt existing gas infrastructure for the production, transport, storage and use of more sustainable future fuels such as hydrogen, biogas and liquid derivatives like ammonia and methanol that can meet a significant part of local demand and generate export opportunities.

Gas infrastructure can also increase the utilisation of renewable generation by storing clean gas manufactured during periods of surplus generation for later use. Low carbon fuels offer increasing potential to store and deliver reliable, clean, secure, and affordable energy to Australian consumers.

The RSC is a partner in the Future Fuels CRC which is a collaboration of more than 60 companies, six universities, the energy market operator and two regulators,

The Future Fuels CRC will be supported by $26m cash from the Commonwealth Government under the CRC program and about $65m of cash and in-kind funding from industry and universities over its seven-year life.