PUMPING GAS: Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen opened the Roma to Brisbane Pipeline in 1969.
PUMPING GAS: Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen opened the Roma to Brisbane Pipeline in 1969. Kim Bramble

Roma's 440km gas pipeline notches up 50th anniversary

THE Roma-Brisbane Pipeline, which put Queensland at the forefront of the Australian gas industry, will celebrate its 50-year anniversary this month.

The 440km pipeline ensured Brisbane was the first Australian capital city to have a supply of natural gas piped in for commercial and domestic use.

After six years of planning, the pipeline was opened in 1969 by then-Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen and has supplied natural gas to southeast Queensland homes and industries for half a century.

The CEO of RBP pipeline owner and operator APA, Mick McCormack, said the 50th anniversary was a proud moment for the company and an illustration of what Australian foresight, engineering and ingenuity was capable.

"The fact it is still playing a crucial role in the delivery of gas not only in southeast Queensland but the whole east coast of Australia shows just how far gas transmission technology has come since those early days,” he said.

"Gas from the RBP continues to provide essential energy for our communities.”

The Roma-Brisbane Pipeline.
The Roma-Brisbane Pipeline. Contributed

The pipeline took about a year to build after six years of planning.

It was the first major gas development in the Roma region, coming after natural gas was discovered by chance while drilling for water more than 100 years ago.

"Since 1969, the pipeline has undergone many expansions and become bi-directional, providing flexible services to the growing market,” Mr McCormack said.

"When it was completed in 1969, its capacity was 33TJ/day.

"The current capacity is 211TJ/day, more than six times its original capacity.”

Mr McCormack said in 2015 the pipeline was upgraded to operate bi-directional in order to meet seasonal customer flexibility.

"To and from Wallumbilla to supply southern states while continuing to service traditional Brisbane market,” he said.”

The pipeline is contained with a 15-m wide easement in rural areas, and a 6m wide easement in metropolitan areas or reserves.

The capacity of the pipeline has increased over time, with the addition of compressor stations and by staged looping, or duplication, of the line.

"Construction of a 756km gas pipeline in 1996 from Ballera (near the Qld-South Australian border) tied into the Roma-Brisbane pipeline at Wallumbilla to transport gas from southwest Queensland to Wallumbilla,” Mr McCormack said.

FACTS:

The Roma-Brisbane Pipeline is Australia's oldest natural gas transmission pipeline transporting natural gas, from conventional gas wells, to a capital city.

Brisbane the first Australian capital city to have a supply of natural gas piped in for commercial and domestic use.

The pipeline was opened by Premier Joh Bjelke- Petersen on March 17, 1969, operating at 33TJ/day capacity.

The current capacity is 211TJ/day.

In 2000 the coal seam gas industry developed, the RBP diversified well beyond Wallumbilla, with many large production facilities becoming connected to the pipeline between Condamine and Dalby in the following 10 years.


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