Gas will remain a vital part of Tasmania's energy mix as renewables generation accelerates and could aid big new investment projects.
That is according to Tasmanian Gas Pipeline chief executive Lindsay Ward and analyst Deloitte Access Economics.
"As the cheapest and most efficient source of heat for manufacturing, gas plays a vital role in ensuring some of Tasmania's largest employers can continue to be competitive, both locally, nationally and further abroad," Mr Ward said.
"In addition to supporting jobs, gas' contribution to the energy mix will continue to provide energy security to Tasmania as the state moves towards a renewable energy future."
Most of the energy discussions in Tasmania in recent years have revolved around new wind farms and other forms of renewable energy generation, new transmission lines, pumped hydro storage development and the proposed Marinus Link cable project which would allow increased export of energy to the mainland.
Mr Ward was speaking after the company received analysis from Deloitte which found the gas pipeline:
- directly supported 4244 Tasmanian jobs;
- supported 8850 Tasmanian jobs in total;
- serviced 1000 commercial and 12,500 residential customers; and
- directly supported 3 per cent of Tasmania's gross state product ($970 million).
"The report also highlights the key role gas can play in supporting Tasmania's COVID recovery, identifying a number of industries heavily reliant on gas that offer significant opportunities for export growth in the coming years," Mr Ward said.
"Local capacity and employment is always important, but, at a time when every job is precious and the economy moves to recover from the impact of COVID-19, is now more important than ever."
Deloitte said the Tasmanian Gas Pipeline was particularly important for Tasmania's northern regions, which had 16 of the pipeline's 20 major users.
"Several large employers in Tasmania, such as (Savage River miner) Grange Resources and (manganese alloy smelter) TEMCO, are heavily dependent on competitively priced gas," it said.
It said the pipeline could potentially support Tasmanian investment opportunities including tin mining, the state's hydrogen plan, dairy sector growth, iron ore mining and the two new TT-Line vessels, which were expected to use liquefied natural gas.
The gas pipeline transports natural gas from Victoria and comes ashore in Tasmania at Bell Bay.