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Highlights from the APGA Convention papers

The 2016 Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) Convention provided a platform for voices from all sectors in the industry to be heard. The following extracts are some of the highlights from the papers presented over two days in Perth.

Politics and power-plays: getting natural gas to Sydney

Getting natural gas to Sydney is now taken for granted, but the initial project – completed 40 years ago – had to overcome many obstacles.

Natural gas arrived in Sydney in time for New Year’s celebrations in 1976.

Getting it there meant changing routes and supply fields, dealing with interstate rivalries, negotiating federal political intrigues and outwitting hydra-like bureaucracies in several jurisdictions.

Along the way, the longest pipeline of the time in Australia was built and a significant number of firsts was achieved.

Read more about Grahame Campbell’s paper here.

New tool to help make complex decisions

A risk assessment concept used by Australia’s transmission pipeline industry is about to get a new tool that will ensure decision-making reflects our increasingly complex world.

A team at the Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre has been examining how the legal concept of as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) has influenced decision-making in pipeline design, construction and operations.

While ALARP is a concept used in law for several centuries, two mid-twentieth century judgements have shaped how ALARP is interpreted in risk management, including in some aspects of the transmission pipeline industry Standard, AS 2885.

In a paper presented to the APGA 2016 Annual Convention and Exhibition, Energy Pipelines CRC Associate Professor Jan Hayes and GPA Engineering Senior Project Engineer Richard McDonough suggest the ALARP assessment methodology developed as a consequence of those cases is limited, and may no longer be adequate to properly guide decision-making.

Read more here.

Daily exercise helps beat harsh working conditions and may reduce injury

Adding a daily exercise routine has improved team morale and physical fitness on a gruelling pipeline recoating project.

The project to recoat pipelines at 25 valve stations on the Amadeus Pipeline across 1700 km of harsh country in the Northern Territory where temperatures regularly exceed 40 degrees Celsius was daunting.

The pipelines were live – filled with gas under pressure – and underground, so the earth around them had to be removed to undertake the recoating.

Machines could be used only to within 300 mm of the live pipeline. The rest had to be removed by hand.

Despite conditions that posed significant health and safety concerns, there were no lost time injuries on the 14-month project, and no incidents or injuries related to heat or physical exhaustion.

“We excavated a total of about 6500 cubic metres of earth, and about 2000 cubic metres of that was moved by hand,” McConnell Dowell Project Manager Grant Kruger told the Convention.

“It was very physically demanding work.”

Read more here.

These are just a few examples of the topics presented and discussed at the 2016 APGA Convention.

To read more visit www.apga.org.au/highlights-from-papers-at-the-2016-apga-annual-convention

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