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Orbost improves despite COVID-19 impact

Cooper energy orbost gas processing plant

Cooper Energy’s Orbost Gas Processing Plant (OGPP) has progressed despite market shortfalls due to COVID-19.

Outlined in the company’s annual general meeting report, chairman John Conde highlighted that the OGPP- owned and operated by APA Group– was still able to improve performance and achieve incremental benefits.

“We have maintained a strict focus on delivering our south-eastern Australia gas strategy, and in doing so, achieved several key milestones which are transforming Cooper Energy”, he said.

These milestones include reconfiguration works at the OGPP and commencing Phase 2B works at the gas plant.

“Although we have a useful Transition Agreement with APA covering an extended commissioning schedule, and although we continue to satisfy our customers and our financiers, the Orbost plant continues to operate below nameplate expectations in terms of stable processing rates,” Conde said.

Consequently, the company was not able to process and sell its Sole gas at originally forecast levels.

This had an obvious flow-on effect to revenue, cash flow and earnings – none of which was as high as planned.

This in turn negatively impacted its progress with other growth projects.

However, Cooper has seen gradual performance improvements and, also, debottlenecking activities have provided some incremental benefits.

While the gas plant is only operating at around 45 TJ/day, managing director David Maxwell said Cooper was working constructively with APA to secure certainty regarding the long-term arrangements for processing Sole gas.

Furthermore, in the Gippsland Basin, APA will be undertaking additional work to install a filtration system at the OGPP, which it plans to complete within the March quarter.

The objective of these works is to improve plant stability and the gas processing rate.

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