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Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) - Managing Director & CEO, David Maxwell - The Market Herald
Managing Director & CEO, David Maxwell
Source: HotCopper
  • Gas provider Cooper Energy (COE) has restarted work on its Orbost Gas Processing Plant after a short maintenance shutdown
  • The plant is being commissioned to provide gas across south-east Australia
  • Cooper Energy and business partner APA Group (APA) are busy scaling up production from the gas plant
  • The production target is 68 terajoules of energy per day; the plant currently processes roughly 28 terajoules per day
  • Still, Cooper says the processing plan is in the early stages of a step-change program to slowly ramp up production
  • Shares in Cooper are trading almost six per cent higher today, currently worth 41 cents each
  • Meanwhile, APA shares are up just 0.36 per cent, currently worth $11.27

Gas provider Cooper Energy (COE) has restarted work on its Orbost Gas Processing Plant after a short maintenance shutdown.

The company is busy developing the gas plant in its Sole gas field with its business partner, fellow ASX-listed APA Group (APA).

The plant is being commissioned to process gas from the Sole field and supply it to customers across south-east Australia. Once the plant has been commissioned, Cooper can start locking in supply contracts and process tariff payments to APA.

So far, the plant has produced 0.8 petajoules of gas into the Eastern Gas Pipeline. For reference, one petajoule is the equivalent of 1.0E+15 — or one million billion — joules.

It might sound like a lot, but figures like this are not uncommon for energy suppliers. In fact, the production target for Cooper's gas plant is 68 terajoules, or 68 trillion joules, per day.

Temporary shutdown

To get the plant up to speed, Cooper and APA have been working to improve the plant's performance. Part of this was was a nine-day shutdown in the second week of May.

As part of the shutdown, Cooper and APA took on an inspection of the plant, maintenance work, and added some "minor modifications" to the sulphur recovery unit.

On May 20, the plant was booted back up.

However, Cooper and APA have not yet been able to touch the 68 terajoule-per-day target from the gas plant. According to the company, the plant is operating at an average of 28 terajoules per day.

Still, this is an increase on the average of between 20 and 25 terajoules per day that Cooper reported when the plant was shut down — meaning production levels are increasing, even if only at a marginal rate.

Nevertheless, Cooper said the plan is still in the initial phase of a gradual step-change program under which production rates are increased in increments and then maintained for the plant to be monitored and assessed.

Cooper said another update on the Sole gas commissioning program will be revealed to shareholders as material developments are made.

It seems investors are pleased with the restarting of plant operations and the increase in production since early May. Shares in Cooper Energy are trading 5.64 per cent higher today, currently worth 41 cents each.

APA Group shares are a modest 0.36 per cent higher, currently worth $11.27.


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