Natural gas restraints

FACTORS required to extend the supply of reticulated natural gas to Heyfield, Stratford, Longford, Yarram and parts of Maffra have been outlined in an opportunities paper prepared by Wellington Shire Council.

In May last year council resolved to approve preparation of an opportunities paper for reticulating natural gas to the areas not currently connected, with a view to making a submission to the State Government and gas distribution company Envestra.

The paper was prepared based on discussions with Envestra and government department Rural Development Victoria.

Factors affecting the viability to connect include the number of projected new residences, number of homes currently connected to bottled gas, growth rates for new home numbers, density of housing, population, climate, having an “anchor” or high volume client, and the cost of connecting the town.

The most promising news for connection is for Maffra.

Maffra already has natural gas, with the report highlighting the possibility of connecting the few streets not currently connected, mainly on undeveloped subdivisions, if there is sufficient demand.

Connection at Longford hinges on Gippsland Water providing water and sewage services.

At Heyfield, connection is only seen as possible if the Gunn’s timber mill converts to natural gas.

While Stratford has had a sufficient rise in population and dwellings, issues in connecting the town relate to having no anchor client, supply constraints and land supply.

Connection to Yarram is seen as highly unlikely as it is too far from the gas mains, with a cost of $32 million to construct a 64 kilometre line, while there is also no anchor client.

For more read Friday’s Gippsland Times.