THE long term solution to the the region's gas outage lies in a horizontal directional drill, eight to 10 metres under the Macquarie River, according to the general manager of APA's infrastructure planning and approvals.
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APA engineers are currently looking at options to permanently fix the gas outage, which hit the region last week.
While Bathurst was 100 per cent back on line as of Wednesday night, Lithgow, Oberon and Wallerawang are still not re-connected.
Gerard Coggan, general manager of Infrastructure Planning and Approvals at APA said at a press conference on Thursday that while temporary measures to restore gas to affected communities will be in place next week, the company is looking at all permanent options to ensure a similar outage never happens again.
"Our team of engineers are working hard at the moment for what that long term solution looks like," he said.
"Currently the long term solution is what is called a horizontal directional drill ... they will drill under the river ... we're talking eight to 10 metres under the base of the river."
While this is happening he said the company will also continue its usual risk assessment of pipelines to mitigate any risks.
"We run detailed risk assessment across all our pipelines. We have over 15,000 kilometres of pipeline across Australia and we have a risk assessment process," he said.
"We also have a process of actually going around and visiting sites, so we have regular visitation to sites and also do aerial patrols of sites," he continued, adding no other pipelines were a cause of concern at this point.
As for the temporary solutions, he said APA is trucking LNG from Victoria and unloading on site. It will be re-vaporised and moved into the pipeline. Following this, Jemena will then be able to start re-connecting consumers in Oberon, Lithgow and Wallerawang to the network, which will take up to an additional week.
The second temporary solution will see the company connect a temporary pipeline across the river. That will reconnect the pipe and allow APA to flow gas again while work on the permanent solution is underway.
As for the permanent solution, he said company is still working towards that.
"We're still targeting the first week in December and we will keep people updated as we go with that solution," he said.
Mr Coggan acknowledged the exceptional support they have received from both the community and suppliers. He said without this support APA would "not have been able to get to where were at today."
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"Local contractors, our local suppliers, the deputy premier, the local federal member, the mayors and the councils have been fantastic," he said.
He also thanked the LEMC (Local Emergency Management Committee), NSW Police and Public Works, who he said were vital in getting the 32 tonnes of LNG delivered on site as part of the first temporary solution process.
"It's been a great achievement. We wouldn't have been able to achieve that without support from the New South Wales Police Service and also the Department of Public Works, who have been integral in trying to get that site prepared for us," he said
Likewise with the secondary temporary solution which has seen over 8,000 tonnes of equipment delivered on site.
"Teams are welding up the pipeline we need to support that solution and we expect to start drilling for that solution today and were expecting that solution to be delivered next week," he said.
At Thursday's press conference Assistant Commissioner Brett Greentree, Regional Emergency Operations Controller for NSW Police, was also full of praise for those involved in the process.
He thanked the community for "trusting the process."
"It's been a pretty challenging week, what a week, when you think about the Western Region and the impacts," he said.
"We have floods and the gas disruption, and there is no blue print for how we would manage the situation.
"I want to thank the community for trusting process."
He acknowledged all those involved including emergency management agencies, Jemena and APA, and stressed he was was well aware "we haven't finished."
"Emergency services agencies been working 24/7 this past week, very, very hard in order to restore gas across the communities in the Western Region," he said.
"This was a difficult situation, something we haven't come across before."
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