A TEMPORARY solution is expected to hopefully see the towns affected by the gas leak reconnected sometime next week.
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With over 100 APA Group engineers working on a permanent solution - which is still weeks away from being resolved, weather pending - temporary solutions will see Bathurst, Lithgow, Oberon and Wallerawang provided with short-term relief.
APA Group acting chief executive officer Adam Watson said they believe by connecting a temporary piece of pipe along the Macquarie River, Lithgow, Oberon and Wallerawang will have their gas supply back until a permanent fix is complete.
"What we are able to do now, we believe with a high degree of confidence, is to include a secondary piece of temporary solution, effectively a temporary pipe, that will sit temporarily along the riverbed along the Macquarie River, reconnecting that pipeline," he said
"We're very hopeful that we can get the remaining three communities up and connected over the next week or two, but hopefully by sometime next week, that would be our ambition.
"And I'm incredibly proud of the work that's been done by the teams to accelerate that."
As another temporary fix, a 42-tonne liquefied natural gas vessel has been called on to enable APA to provide the affected communities with some temporary relief.
In terms of a permanent fix, Mr Watson said they're expecting to have a solution up and running by the first week of December.
However, all options rely on the weather remaining stable.
Mr Watson said the flooding has made it very difficult to fix the broken pipe.
"The permanent solution is effectively replacing that section of pipe that has been damaged by the floods," he said.
"We've already started a lot of the surface work. You can imagine that the floods don't just impact the river, it impacts accessibility to the site as well.
"If you didn't have floods you'd go in there and do a reasonably quick fix ... obviously we've got the challenges of the floods and being able to access the site.
"Those permanent and temporary solutions ... I just want to emphasise is all subject to the weather conditions remaining stable and the ground conditions being stable."
Mr Watson said the company is hopeful it will have all connections in Bathurst online by the end of next week, subject to Jemena's reconnection process.
The permanent solution will be a few weeks later.
At this stage, residents have been told that after the make-safe and reconnection stages are complete, there will be no need to go through the relight process again once the pipe has been permanently fixed.
As part of the permanent solution process, future flooding is being taken into account.
As the floodwater washing away the riverbed underneath the pipeline is what's believed to have caused to leak, APA engineers will take that into consideration in the resolution phase to prevent the same thing from happening again.
READ MORE: Oberon facing two more weeks without gas
Mr Watson said it's important to note that the leak has come under very uncommon circumstances and the pipes are regularly safe-checked.
"We had very recently in fact, in April and May, undertaken inspections at that very site to ensure it was safe, and be rest assured that our safety standards as it relates to gas pipelines across Australia are at the highest level," he said.
"They're basically higher than anywhere else globally and we were given assurance at that period of time that the site was safe.
"So that gives us a lot more assurance that the incident here has been caused by the devastation of the floods."
Mr Watson thanked everyone involved in relighting connections, finding solutions, and everyone who has helped out in some way.
He also thanked the community for its support while they work hard to return gas services to Bathurst, Oberon, Lithgow and Wallerawang.
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