Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria

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The Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria was a government-owned monopoly supplier of household gas in Victoria, Australia.

In 1951, the Victorian government took over two of the three main gas utilities in Melbourne - the Metropolitan Gas Company and the Brighton Gas Company. In 1971 the Corporation acquired the Geelong Gas Company, one of only two remaining private gas companies in Victoria at the time.

One of the first tasks of the Corporation was the construction of a centralised brown coal fuelled gasification plant at Morwell, to replace the number of smaller town gas producing gasworks scattered throughout Melbourne. The plant opened in 1956 and used the German Lurgi process to produce gas that was transferred to Melbourne via a high pressure gas pipeline. [1]

The production of Syngas started in the 1950s, which is a process that converted waste gases from oil refineries to a useful energy product.[1] In 1966, thirty percent of gas was being produced from residual oil, thirty percent from refinery gas and LPG, thirty percent from Lurgi gas, and less than ten percent by carbonization of black coal. Natural gas was discovered in Bass Strait in 1965, and a conversion program took place over a 20-month period, ending in December 1970, which required converting around one million appliances to operate on natural gas.

In July 1997 the Gas and Fuel Corporation was disaggregated into three divisions: gas distributor and retail companies, a gas transmission company and an independent Market Operator, VENCorp. The distribution, retail and transmission companies were subsequently privatised by the Kennett Government, along with the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, Victoria's main electricity utility.

The corporation's former headquarters, the Princes Gate Towers on Flinders Street, were then demolished to make way for the Federation Square development.


Further reading[edit]

  • Proudley, Ray (1987). Circle of Influence. A History of the Gas Industry in Victoria. Margren Publishing with the Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria. 
  • Edwards, Cecil (1969). Brown Power. A jubilee history of the SECV. State Electricity Commission of Victoria.