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Maintaining efficiency amid COVID-19

Qube Energy is continuing to hit milestones for the APA Group’s Northern Goldfields Interconnect by providing supply logistics services for BAO Australia.

In November 2020, APA Group announced it would invest up to $460 million in the new Northern Goldfields Interconnect (NGI) – a 580 km, 12-inch (304 mm) pipeline that will connect emerging gas fields in the Perth Basin in Western Australia to the Goldfields region.

The new pipeline will connect to APA’s existing Goldfields Gas Pipeline (GGP), which in turn connects to APA’s Eastern Goldfields network, creating an interconnected gas pipeline system covering 2690 km which is expected to be operational by mid-2022.

Qube was contracted by BAO Australia in December 2020, who were contracted by APA to be the pipeline supplier.

Project Manager Anthony Wells says the first arrival of pipe occurred on 26 May 2021, with the first deliveries to the laydown yards commencing on 10 June 2021.

“It is expected that all pipe will be delivered early this year (2022),” he says. “The project involves the delivery of approximately 584 kilometres of X60 Dual layer Fusion Bonded Epoxy line pipe. This equates to approximately 33,000 tonnes of steel and 32,414 pieces of pipe. The pipes are 18 meters in length.”

The pipe is being delivered into the Port of Geraldton in Western Australia.

Wells says once the vessel arrives, the pipe is discharged from the vessel onto trucks and transported to Qube’s laydown yard for storage.

“The pipe is arriving in four shipments,” he says. “There will be on completion of the project 2500 truck movements from the wharf to our laydown yard which will have occurred.”

“Once the pipe has been stacked in Qube’s laydown yard it is then loaded onto double road trains to send out to four stockpiles in the towns of Pindar, Yalgoo, Mount Magnet and Sandstone with the furthest location being approximately 500 kilometres away.”

Wells says it will require approximately 1550 extendable trailer deliveries to complete the project which is about 775 double road trains.

APA has reported that the NGI will create new opportunities for the supply of natural gas for the resources industry and provide for other growth opportunities in the Goldfields region and beyond.

The pipeline will also provide greater access to existing and new natural gas supply fields supporting the region’s processing and power generation growth requirements.

As part of the contract, Qube then handles all pipes from its trailers and stockpiles them in the final laydown yards before they are taken to the right of way for stringing.

Wells says the company is currently 50 per cent of the way through delivering all of the pipe.

“Every long project comes with its own unique set of challenges and this project has been no different, from COVID-19-related barriers restricting travel of personnel, extreme weather events, including very large amounts of rainfall, delayed berthing of vessels because of COVID-19, and weather combined,” he says.

As Australia’s largest integrated provider of import and export logistic services, Wells says Qube, a division of Qube Ports, supports more than 1000 rig supply vessels, barges and offshore construction vessels per annum at various locations throughout Australia.

These include Ports at Darwin, Dampier, Melbourne/Geelong, Bell Bay, Portland, Fremantle and Barry Beach.

Qube also operates facilities and services for the oil and gas industry in South East Asia, in Singapore and Indonesia, linking with its Australian facilities and operations.

Well says the company acknowledges the importance of the oil and gas industry to the Australian economy.

“The provision of logistics support to this market is consistent with the growth of our service offering over the last 10 years,” he says.

This article appeared in the January 2022 issue of The Australian Pipeliner magazine. Click here to view the digital edition. 

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