Australia Pacific LNG pipeline goes undergound

Australia Pacific LNG's main transmission pipeline going into the ground.
Australia Pacific LNG's main transmission pipeline going into the ground. Contributed

THE first of more than 530km of pipe has been laid underground 15 km south of Miles as part of the pipeline construction component of the Australia Pacific LNG project.

The main transmission pipeline is being constructed to enable coal seam gas to be transported from the gas fields in the Surat and Bowen basins to an LNG plant on Curtis Island, off the coast of Gladstone for processing and export.

Australia Pacific LNG pipeline project manager Graeme Hogarth said the pipe being laid underground was a significant milestone.

"Australia Pacific LNG is committed to high standards of environmental management, and a great deal of planning has gone into the pipeline construction phase to protect the environment and preserve the visual amenity of the surrounding region," Mr Hogarth said.

"This means that all 530km of transmission pipe in the Australia Pacific LNG project will be buried 0.75 metres or deeper underground and the land above reinstated and rehabilitated.

"We've also developed a comprehensive translocation process for endangered and near threatened plant species along the pipeline route which has seen the preservation of more than 3,000 plants to date."

Putting pipe into the ground is one of the final stages of the pipeline construction process which also includes:

  • Surveying the pipeline route
  • Clearing of vegetation along the approved pipeline route
  • Delivery and bending of pipes to match the terrain
  • Welding, inspection and coating of pipeline
  • Excavation of pipeline trench
  • Lowering pipe in trench, backfilling and initial reinstatement
  • Tie-in (bedding down of the pipe into the trench)
  • Testing and commissioning of pipeline, and
  • Final reinstatement of pipeline route.

The welded pipe segments are lowered into the prepared trench by specially designed side booms.

Up to six side booms operate together lifting 180 meters of welded pipe at a time and lowering into the trench ready for final tie-in, testing and commissioning.

Construction of the Australia Pacific LNG pipeline is ongoing and is expected to be complete in the first half of 2014.

Topics:  australia pacific lng business coal seam gas mining industry pipeline surat basin

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