New ethane gas supply contract to support hundreds of Australian manufacturing jobs

Cooper Basin landscape. Image Credit:

Santos and Beach Energy have announced the extension of ethane gas supply to Qenos, Australia’s sole manufacturer of polyethylene and leading supplier of world-class polymers.

The new sales agreement will see the Cooper Basin joint venture (SACB) partners supply gas to Qenos through to 31 December 2025, enabling the company to maintain its operations at Botany Bay in Sydney and secure over 500 jobs associated with its NSW activities.

Ethane is an essential input for Qenos’ production of polyethylene which in turn is used by other manufacturers in Australia across a range of industries and applications including consumer and industrial packaging, water conservation, waste management and agriculture.

The ethane required by Qenos is processed via a dedicated facility at the Moomba Gas Plant, operated by Santos on behalf of the SACB joint venture in northeastern South Australia.

Santos Managing Director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said the company is pleased to be working together with Qenos to secure Australian jobs and power Australian industry.

“Santos is continuing to invest in new natural gas supply for the domestic market around the nation, including in the Cooper Basin where we increased production last year for the second year in a row and drilled a record 115 wells. Here in NSW, we want to bring the Narrabri Gas Project to fruition,” Mr Gallagher said.

“The only way to put downward pressure on gas prices for NSW customers is to develop new gas supplies closer to market. A commercial baker in Sydney pays around $26,400 more every year for gas than a similar business in Brisbane.

“Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project would be developed solely for the east coast domestic market and could produce enough gas to supply up to half NSW needs, so it’s vital that the assessment and approval process is completed as soon as possible and, if approved, we will get on with the job of delivering competitively-priced Narrabri gas for NSW households and businesses.”

Beach Energy Managing Director Matt Kay added: “As a proud Australian company, we are a key supplier of natural gas to the domestic market and the Qenos contract again highlights our commitment to local customers.

“Beach will look to build on this in the coming years as we make significant investments in Victoria and South Australia to bring more gas supply to the domestic market. This financial year alone, Beach is spending around $500 million to develop new gas for the east coast market,” he concluded.

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