Some may have to wait until Wednesday for natural gas

An APA employee watches as cold vapour is released as liquified gas is converted so it can be injected into the network.
An APA employee watches as cold vapour is released as liquified gas is converted so it can be injected into the network. Robyne Cuerel

PERMANENT repairs to the Wide Bay's natural gas network are almost finished but some businesses should expect to wait till next Wednesday to be reconnected.

Gas infrastructure company APA spokesman Josh Hankey said several tonnes of new pipeline, measuring more than 550m, were used to replace the damaged section.

The replacement pipeline was being pressure-tested and connected to the rest of the network on Friday afternoon.

Mr Hankey expected only 300-350 users would be left to reconnect to the supply once the whole network was brought up to normal pressure.

Crews must inject natural gas at Miriam Vale, north of Bundaberg and gradually build pressure back up to normal operating levels in the 180km section of the pipeline in Wide Bay before all customers can be reconnected.

"This work in these conditions has been extraordinarily challenging," Mr Hankey said.

About 1000 customers in Maryborough, Hervey Bay and Bundaberg had their supply cut off more than two weeks ago when floodwaters damaged the pipeline.

Residential customers were reconnected last weekend thanks to a temporary repair where tankers have been converting LNG and injecting it into the network at Maryborough.

Mr Hankey said crews had also been reconnecting some of the smallest business users as more gas was injected.

"Every decision we've made to reconnect customers has been based on the impact on our network," he said.

"It is really critical it is done in such a way it is compatible with the network."

Topics:  flooding floods gas oswald pipeline shutdown

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