Already this year is shaping up as a very active one for the Australian gas pipeline industry.
The PNG-Queensland pipeline is once again considered a serious option with detailed FEED for onshore Australia by AGL now underway and expected to be completed by the end of this year.
The PNG-Queensland pipeline proposes to bring gas from the PNG reserves to markets in Queensland and south east Australia. The AGL-Petronas Consortium has preferred developer status for the project’s onshore Australian development. Challenges still facing this project include route definition, environmental approvals and line pipe specification.
In the West the looping and compression improvements on the DBNGP pipeline have been given the greenlight. The existing Worley – HPS – KT Alliance is working on the first compression and looping package with Alinta Network Services and new Project Director Peter Iancov will decide in the near future the contracting strategy for the remaining compressor and looping works.
Nevertheless, the outlook is very positive, contributing to the expanding pipeline work coming up this year and next.
We also recognise the number of expat Australian pipeliners working in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The first flow of oil into Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan 42 inch pipeline in Azerbaijan in May had a significant number of Australian pipeliners making a contribution during the engineering and construction.
I’m also pleased that, following a Board decision last year to highlight this industry’s social credentials, APIA conducted a seminar on Environment, Health and Safety. The seminar was held in Brisbane on May 18 and was well received with excellent presentations from all participants. Clearly, even in this safety-conscious industry, improvements can still be made and I encourage those who were unable to attend to familiarise themselves with the presentations, which can be accessed on the APIA website. It was unfortunate that the State technical regulators were required to attend another function on that day, as they would have found the presentations useful and informative. It is important for the regulators to understand that this industry is genuinely focussed on safety, the environment and the health of its employees, and attendance at our seminar would have helped to assuage any concerns they might have. Their failure to attend means more effort will be made by the APIA secretariat to engage regulators in discussion and consultation about these aspects of our industry.
I also encourage all members to participate in the review of our Environmental Code. The Environment Group is active again and while Part-C, the section of the Code covering abandonment of pipelines, is now complete, we are also reviewing Part A, the design and construction section of the Code. This will be followed by a review of Part B, the operations and maintenance section. The timing for this review will be related to the completion of the revision to AS2885 Part 1 Design and Construction and the subsequent update of AS2885 Part 3 Operations and Maintenance. I believe these have been very successful documents, used extensively by members and regulators alike as a guide to the best environmental outcomes and therefore the review is likely to make only minor changes. But we want these changes to be genuine, solid improvements and therefore the Environmental Group needs information about any problems anyone has had with the current Code. We hope to release a final draft at this year’s Convention and Exhibition in October/November.
For those that missed Cheryl Cartwright’s article in the Australian Financial Review on June 7, I have asked The Australian Pipeliner to include it in this edition and it can be found on page 16. Along with the rest of our members, I appreciate the hard work Cheryl has put in since joining APIA and this particular article is reflective of Cheryl’s straightforward approach to industry matters.
And, of course, I’m sure we’re all looking forward to the highlight of the year the Annual Convention and Exhibition to be held in Adelaide from October 29 to November 1. I hope to see you there.