Change the world without changing too much of yours

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Gas is changing

The future of gas is changing, so you don’t have to

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More than 430,000 Kiwi homes and businesses enjoy the reliability and convenience of  natural gas and LPG every day. Continuous hot water, cost-efficient heating, gas bottles to make the barbie sizzle… it’s no surprise gas is such a popular choice.

But, if New Zealand wants to reach its goal of zero carbon emissions by 2050, we all need to make some changes – and the gas industry is no exception.

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What you need to know
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At Firstgas Group, we’re 100% behind Aotearoa’s zero carbon future.

The gas used in Kiwi homes currently makes up less than 1% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, while commercial and industrial gas users contribute 8%. It’s not much – but we think we can do better!

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We’ve been investigating cleaner, zero carbon gas options.

Natural gas and LPG are cleaner burning fuels, with far lower CO2 emissions, than coal or wood burners, but (along with the rest of New Zealand’s energy sector) we need to go a step further. That’s why we’ve spent two years investigating the possibilities of zero carbon gas : primarily hydrogen, biogas and bioLPG – some of which are already being tested in New Zealand and are well-advanced overseas.

With these potentially zero carbon gas alternatives, we’ll be able to continue using our existing pipeline networks and distribution channels to distribute gas. So Kiwis can continue to enjoy the benefits of gas well into the future.

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Our goal? To convert to 100% zero carbon gas by 2050.

With the support of the government, we’re already looking at how we can use our existing gas pipelines to carry renewable gas to New Zealand homes and businesses, including leading part of a Hydrogen Pipeline Trial and being involved in a Biogas Industry Study. We’re also closely following the results of extensive hydrogen research and development in Australia and Europe – where some gas networks are already successfully blending up to 20% hydrogen.

As part of the World Energy Council’s Global Hydrogen Initiative, we’ve committed to introducing 20% hydrogen (by volume) into our gas pipelines starting in 2030. Our research shows that we can convert the Firstgas pipeline network to 100% hydrogen by 2050. This step would reduce New Zealand’s energy emissions by nearly 25%.

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If you currently use natural gas or LPG in your home or business, you won’t need to do a thing.

We’re helping you change the world without changing too much of yours. Most appliances will work up to a 20% blend of hydrogen, and our network is already set up to deliver this. So for now you can continue enjoying the benefits of gas while we make it cleaner behind the scenes.

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Firstgas Group target is delivering 20% blended hydrogen by 2035 with 100% by 2050

We’ve investigated what New Zealand’s hydrogen future could look like and how our network can play its part.

In 2019, Firstgas received $260,000 in government funding managed by the Provincial Development Unit to investigate how existing gas infrastructure could adapt to transporting hydrogen. The first phase of the work programme was a hydrogen pipeline trial study to investigate the role of hydrogen in decarbonisation and what we will need to do for our network to carry hydrogen.

This Hydrogen Pipeline Trial Study shows we have sufficient network capacity and a viable strategy for converting the networks to hydrogen blends and then 100% hydrogen. Our study findings confirm that our network could be delivering a blend of 20% hydrogen by 2035, with a move to 100% hydrogen by 2050. This would be supported by large scale storage of hydrogen in Taranaki to provide inter-seasonal and inter-year flexibility for the energy system.

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Hydrogen can reduce Aotearoa's energy sector emissions by up to 25%.

Hydrogen is a cleaner alternative to natural gas. It can be produced by electrolysis, which is the process of using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. If the electricity is generated using renewable resources, like wind and solar, then the process creates no new carbon emissions, and the hydrogen produced is “green” hydrogen.

Based on our study, hydrogen could replace natural gas demand in most sectors by 2050. Hydrogen has the potential to displace a range of different fossil fuels currently used for high-temperature process heat, building heating, electricity generation and large-scale energy storage which goes a long way to supporting a 100% renewable electricity system.

Gas is getting even better

What do you need to do? Absolutely Nothing

While we continue working in the background to transition to cleaner gas, gas users can continue doing what they’re doing. Our goal? To make a zero carbon gas grid a future reality in Aotearoa.

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Transition to a zero carbon future

Our path to zero carbon gas

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We believe gas has a big part to play in New Zealand’s energy future. Thanks to extensive research and close monitoring of international efforts, we’re well on our way to cleaner, more energy efficient gas – and to ultimately delivering zero carbon gas by 2050.

Hydrogen trial results

The Hydrogen Feasibility Study

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For Firstgas Group, the Hydrogen Pipeline Trial Study set the foundation for our ongoing delivery work on hydrogen. The results show we have sufficient network capacity and a viable strategy for converting our networks to hydrogen: painting the picture of what a zero carbon gas future could look like for Aotearoa.

Read the full report
Gas in Aotearoa

Now and in the future

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Natural gas has been a reliable, efficient and affordable energy source for Kiwis for over 50 years – and we believe it has a crucial role to play in New Zealand’s journey to zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Why gas has a key part to play
About us

Shaping New Zealand’s Gas Future.

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The assets managed by Firstgas Group have been at the forefront of innovation in New Zealand’s energy sector for nearly forty years. Through our leading companies Firstgas, Rockgas, Flexgas and Gas Services New Zealand, we have the future of gas in our sights – while ensuring Kiwis get the natural gas and LPG they need today, safely and reliably.

About Firstgas Group
Our leading companies
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Firstgas

Based in the energy-rich region of Taranaki, Firstgas connects natural gas to homes, businesses and large industry through more than 2,500 kms of high-pressure gas transmission pipelines across the North Island. We also own 4,800kms of gas distribution networks in the North Island. Through our transmission and distribution networks we connect 300,000 homes and businesses to gas.

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Rockgas

Rockgas is New Zealand’s largest LPG retailer, serving over 116,000 customers from nine branches and 34 outlets across the country. Reliable and highly efficient, LPG offers big savings over electricity. We make sure it’s available wherever, however and whenever our customers need it – whether that’s delivering gas bottles to homes and baches or providing LPG tanks to businesses. With a reputation for quality, Rockgas won Canstar Blue’s “Most Satisfied Customers in Bottled Gas” award in 2020, and given five stars by its customers for overall satisfaction, value for money and cost clarity.

 

Flexgas

Flexgas owns and operates Taranaki’s recently expanded Ahuroa gas storage facility. By providing energy storage at scale, we help major gas users manage varying demands – which ultimately means our customers can better manage their energy supply and demand variability for years to come.

Gas Services New Zealand

Gas Services New Zealand is the operations and maintenance company who makes sure our gas is delivered safely and continuously. While they don’t have a retail presence, they’re critical to keeping the lights on and the gas flowing around the clock.

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