RELATED COVERAGE: ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’
Esso Australia has moved to allay potential concerns of Gippsland landholders, ahead of a major pipeline replacement project tipped to commence late 2014.
As part of Esso’s plans to build a replacement pipeline between the Longford gas plant and the Long Island Point refinery at Hastings, properties adjoining the current pipeline easement could see sections of land taken up in the upgrade.
According to a project spokesperson, Esso has already begun approaching landholders whose land may be targeted in a possible easement expansion, a first-contact process, which is set to continue throughout the week.
However with the project yet to undergo design finalisation and regulatory approval processes, the points at which a new pipeline would breach into existing properties is not yet certain.
The spokesperson said potentially impacted landholders would be approached by dedicated land liaison officers, who would facilitate the communication process with Esso, after which land surveys would be conducted to gauge possible expansion suitability.
Transporting crude oil and condensate from the Longford plant, the pipeline travels west on the south side of Rosedale, before crossing under the Princes Highway east of Traralgon, bypassing Latrobe Valley’s major towns and infrastructure on the northern side, before crossing back south of the highway before Warragul.
The new pipeline would replace an existing 700mm diameter pipe, constructed in 1969, which is nearing the end of its operational life.
The spokesperson said Esso would engage and authorise several contractors over the course of the project, and would wherever possible, relay news of employment, tender, contract and business opportunities to the Gippsland community.
Gippsland Trades and Labour Council secretary John Parker said while the upgrade would not result in hundreds of jobs for local contractors, infrastructure maintenance was always a welcome and sustainable source of employment.
“Pipeline’s don’t attract crews of hundreds, however this is a fairly large replacement, so we will be interested to see how many jobs it creates,” Mr Parker said.
For more information about the Esso Pipeline Replacement Project visit www.exxonmobil.com.au/pipelinereplacement or phone 1800 724 723.