APA Group’s Eastern Goldfields Gas Pipeline construction is gaining momentum in Western Australia as pipe shipments arrive from Fremantle’s North Quay.
The 292 km, DN200, buried carbon steel natural gas high pressure pipeline is being constructed by APA Group in the remote Eastern Goldfields to transport gas to AngloGold Ashanti’s Sunrise Dam and Tropicana mine sites.
The two mines will use natural gas for local power generation, displacing diesel fuel and LNG transported by road.
APA will transport gas a total distance of 1,500 km to the mines through three of its interconnected pipelines – the Goldfields Gas Pipeline (1,369 km, 350–400 mm), the Murrin Murrin Lateral (85 km, 219.1 mm) and the new Eastern Goldfields Pipeline.
The Eastern Goldfields Pipeline (EGP) is set to made up of approximately 16,500, 18 m lengths of pipe that were shipped into Fremantle on three separate carriers from China.
The lengths were stored in Fremantle’s North Quay before being transported by rail from the Fremantle Rail Terminal to Kalgoorlie.
From Kalgoorlie, the pipe was then shipped by road to the respective stockpile areas located at Granny Smith (near the town of Laverton), Sunrise Dam and Tropicana.
Given the remote location of these sites, the ability to transport the pipe to Kalgoorlie by rail eased logistical challenges, as it reduced the distance required to travel by road, the majority of which was unsealed.
With approximately 80 people involved in the project management, design and procurement of resources for the duration of the project, and another 300 people coming on board when the pipeline construction phase started on March 1, the remote location of the project added to the list of logistical issues that needed to be managed.
APA prioritises the health and safety of its employees and contractors, and in the case of the Eastern Goldfields Gas Pipeline, the company has taken steps to address the amount of driving required to develop the pipeline.
One such initiative is the introduction of in-vehicle monitoring systems (IVMS) to all personnel moving vehicles to monitor movements and behaviour.
Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Marmion was present when the third and final shipment of pipe length left Fremantle for the Eastern Goldfields.
“This is great news for Goldfields energy and employment – with up to 300 people working on pipeline construction this year it is expected to be finished by December, boosting existing mining operations through potentially cheaper energy and greatly reduced truck numbers on access roads,” said Mr Marmion.
“Unlike the more volatile diesel market, gas gives mining companies energy price certainty.”
APA Group Managing Mick McCormack said the new pipeline will extend the company’s portfolio in the state.
“While the pipeline’s construction is underpinned by long-term gas transportation agreements with AngloGold Ashanti, the Eastern Goldfields Pipeline can be further expanded to service other mines in the region in addition to these initial contracts,” said Mr McCormack.
“Access to natural gas, a reliable and cost competitive energy supply, will assist our new and existing customers in reducing costs at their mining operations.”
APA will construct the EGP and associated infrastructure for an estimated total capital cost of $140 million.
Engineering, design and procurement work has commenced, with completion expected prior to January 2016 when gas transportation services are due to commence.
This article was featured in the April 2015 edition of The Australian Pipeliner.
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