Over 250 senior gas leaders will take part in the 3rd annual Australian Domestic Gas Outlook 2015 conference which opened on Monday at the Four Seasons hotel in Sydney.
Now established as the country’s premier event for exploring future directions of the domestic gas sector, the 2015 conference is aiming to facilitate high level discussions by bringing together industry experts, government officials and senior executives of a number of Australian manufacturing companies.
The event is also attended by the CEO of Australia’s Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA), Ms Samantha Read, who delivered a keynote speech on the future of the Australian gas outlook, highlighting the critical role of natural gas through Australia’s value chains to support a diverse, resilient and more competitive Australia.
“It is important that the gas debate is more informed about all the ways gas is used in the economy, including as energy exports, chemical feedstocks, industrial process energy, as well as commercial and residential energy. There needs to be a better understanding of the connection between natural gas, jobs and our quality of life,” Ms Read said.
“The Australian chemistry industry adds value to 10% of the country’s domestic gas, using it as an essential and non-substitutable feedstock. In some states, such as New South Wales, this can be as high as 25%.”
Ms Read said an advanced manufacturing sector, enabled by Australian chemistry, is a significant growth opportunity for Australia. She stressed that the Australian chemistry industry employs more than 60,000 people in highly skilled jobs, contributing over $11.6 billion in industry value add and further 6 billion in wages and salaries.
“There are a number of Australian businesses in the industry with interest and capability in the development of world-scale, integrated chemical manufacturing plants. The scale of such investment, means that even a single new facility, would have the potential to significantly value add to Australia’s economy,” Ms Read said.
“We can manufacture our future with gas. As a nation, we have a tremendous natural gas advantage to drive the next generation of growth for Australia. But this won’t happen without the certainty required for investment.”
Ms Read’s full speech is available here.