Lighting up Launceston
First established in 1858, the Launceston Gasworks charts the growth of the gas industry in Tasmania and the development of the city of Launceston itself.
The site was purchased in 1858 by the Launceston Gas Company with construction starting on the gasworks one year later. The primary purpose of the site was to supply gas to the township of Launceston for industrial engines and public lighting 30 years before electricity became available. At it's peak, the gas plant produced 900,000 cubic feet of gas per day and serviced 3,500 customers.
The long sandstone building furthest from the river originally housed the carbonising plant and horizontal retorts that produced Towns Gas. These buildings are now used as stores and industrial maintenance facilities. The retorts were upgraded to a more efficient vertical system in the 1930's, situated in the tall red brick buildings in the centre of the complex.
From the vertical house the gas was piped to exhausts before being distributed to customers via an extensive pipe network stretching 180 kms.
As processes improve, LP Gas and butane replaced coal as the gaswork's feed stocks. These fuels were imported to purpose built facilities at Bell Bay at the mouth of the Tamar.
Meeting Tasmania's energy needs today
Origin Energy has been involved in the development of gas supply in Launceston since 1858 when the original Launceston Gas Company was established. Under Boral, the Gas Corporation of Tasmania expanded it's supply network to customers statewide. In 1996, the site was converted to an LPG distribution facility.
The site is now the head offices of Origin Energy's Tasmanian operations. Origin Energy delivers LPG to customers throughout the state, distributing daily four times the volume produced at the gasworks manufacturing peak and continues to develop client based solutions utilising leading edge energy efficient environmental technologies.