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Globally competitive gas remains critical for Australian manufacturing investment - 1 October 2021

Tight supply and surging prices for gas feedstock and energy remain a concern for Australia’s critical manufacturing industries.


Chemistry Australia CEO Samantha Read said the Australian economy faces a perfect storm of soaring Asian LNG spot prices and high global oil prices.

“We note the release of the ACCC LNG Netback decision and the introduction of a 5-year LNG netback oil linked price series focused on assisting longer term gas contract needs,” said Ms Read.

“At a time of unprecedented domestic supply tightness and rapidly changing global market dynamics, we also note the missed opportunity to go further in providing domestic gas users with a greater level of transparency to support the negotiation of these longer-term contracts.”

“The upheavals in the manufacturing sector in Europe in recent weeks due to soaring energy prices are just as real for Australia. The stresses in the east coast gas market both in terms of supply and price are clear for all to see,” Ms Read said.

“COVID-19 placed a great strain on supply chains and domestic self-sufficiency, the stresses on the east coast are now challenging our own domestic manufacturing security, which support many industries from mining, agriculture, food and packaging.”

This week the ACCC’s LNG netback series forecast a record gas price in February 2022 of A$30 per GJ at Queensland’s Wallumbilla Gas Hub, due to soaring Asian LNG gas prices.

In its July Gas Inquiry Report the ACCC said Australia’s 540 petajoule east coast domestic gas market could face a shortfall in the year ahead if the Queensland LNG producers exported all their 101 petajoules of excess gas above their 1341 PJ of export commitments.

Ms Read said: “Australia’s critical chemical and plastics manufacturing infrastructure requires globally competitive inputs to support ongoing investment of mobile global capital.”

“If Australia is to make the most of hydrogen, green ammonia, and advanced recycling opportunities then governments and policy makers, gas producers and industry will need to work together on the transition to get there.

“Ensuring gas is offered at a fair and globally competitive price in the domestic market is key to the investment needed for employment and a low-carbon future.”

Chemistry Australia will continue to work with governments and industry on solutions to the gas crisis and retention of our manufacturing sovereign capability. 

 

Media contacts:

Shayna Welsh – swelsh@chemistryaustralia.org.au or 0448 660 443

 

Chemistry Australia is the pre-eminent national body representing the Australian chemistry industry, one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the country. The industry supports more than 212,000 full time jobs and contributes more than $38 billion to Australia’s GDP. Members of Chemistry Australia are positioned across the entire value chain including manufacturers, importers and distributors, logistics and supply chain partners, raw material suppliers, fabricators, compounders, recyclers, research, academia and service providers to the industry. These businesses range from small family-owned companies to leading national and multinational enterprises.


 

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