APA Group to buy Cooper Energy’s Orbust gas plant

APA Group has signed a deal with Cooper Energy to buy the Orbost natural-gas processing plant in Victoria as part of a $270 million project.

The energy infrastructure company has agreed to buy, upgrade and operate the Orbost plant, which is based on the coast 375km east of Melbourne.

The transaction for the plant remains subject to Cooper completing a debt raising and making a final investment decision on its Sole gas project.

If the deal goes through, the project is expected to be completed by around mid-2019. APA expects to close out the acquisition in August.

The Orbust plant will connect to Cooper’s Sole gas field via a subsea pipeline built by Cooper.

There is also scope within the agreement for the plant to process gas from Cooper’s nearby Manta gas field.

An existing pipeline to the Patricia-Baleen and Longtom gas fields can also deliver gas for processing, although it is subject to approval by the owners.

“We are pleased to have reached a binding agreement with Cooper Energy on this transaction, at a time when there are calls for increased gas supply into the east coast gas market,” said Mick McCormack, APA Group’s managing director.

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