Sunday, June 29, 2008

Varanus Island - What's That Got To Do With A Hot Shower?

You probably haven't heard but a month ago there was an explosion at Varanus Island. Big deal, huh? Well, no. Apart from the fact that 30% of Western Australia's gas was pumped from the island through the pipe that ruptured. In a couple of months some repairs will have been carried out but it will be at least six months before it's fully operational again.

So far, domestic gas users aren't suffering. But the gas has been turned off or lessened for industrial users. It means that the two large brick manufacturers, with Midland Brick being the largest brickworks in the southern hemisphere (or was that Australia?), closing. Workers were instructed to have time off. Without bricks being manufactured that means there goes the building industry.

The mining game has got it tough too. They may be able to switch to diesel, which was already at high cost, but diesel usage has increased by 40% since the explosion. As if it wasn't costly enough doing business in the middle of a boom.

Apparently one percent of the workforce may be laid off with up to 15% taking time off due to the knock-on effects. They even shut down the escalators at some Perth businesses to save electricity - many of our electricity generating plants are gas-fired.

What is has meant for us is shorter showers, not just to save the planet, but to save the State.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel. We have to conserve gasoline in the USA and it has driven up the cost of everything. Annette

tmz_99 said...

good time to build a house then.... prices would come down due to elongated length of build time...
or they could go skyrocketing due to scarcity of bricks....