Cooper Energy and Mitsui have completed front end engineering and design work to support the final investment decision on the project
Cooper Energy, along with its partner Mitsui Group, has announced AUD55m ($38m) investment in the upgrade of Minerva gas plant to support the increased gas supply in Australia.
In December last year, the two companies took possession of the gas plant, with each holding a 50% stake. Cooper Energy is the operator of the Minerva gas plant, located near Port Campbell, Victoria.
The plant is planned to be renamed as Athena Gas Plant, acknowledging the expansion to its role from a dedicated plant to a supply hub from existing offshore Otway gas fields and future discoveries.
Cooper Energy managing director David Maxwell said: “This investment decision represents an important milestone in Cooper Energy’s continuing growth as a safe, competitive, efficient and reliable developer and marketer of new gas supplies for homes and businesses in south-east Australia.”
Minerva plant will process gas from Casino-4, Casino-5, Henry-2, and Netherby-1 wells
Cooper Energy and Mitsui have completed front end engineering and design work to support the final investment decision that will facilitate the upgrade of the plant to process gas produced from the existing Casino, Henry and Netherby fields in the VIC L24/L30 permit areas.
The companies will invest AUD37m ($26m) to upgrade the plant and have spent already spent AUD17.8m ($12.4m) on the front end engineering and design work and care and maintenance of the plant.
The project would receive gas from four offshore wells including Casino-4, Casino-5, Henry-2, and Netherby-1, into the Minerva plant through a pipeline tie-in and minor modifications.
The planned infrastructure work at the plant is expected to enable the supply of 16 PJ of currently undeveloped gas, and is is expected to create around 30 to 50 local jobs during execution with 20 ongoing local jobs.
Maxwell added: “This is a ‘shovel-ready project’ which will see Cooper Energy and Mitsui Group upgrade the idle Minerva Gas Plant to be a processing hub for local production and discoveries in offshore Otway Basin, Victoria.
“It means local jobs for local contractors which will help deliver reliable gas supplies into the east coast market. The investment follows the successful exploration program by Cooper Energy and Mitsui Group resulting in the Annie-1 gas discovery, in the Otway Basin, the first offshore discovery in south-east Australia over seven years.”