APGA celebrates WORM completion at exclusive event


Pipeline professionals gathered at a Melbourne-based exclusive networking event organised by the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association to discuss the progression of the Western Outer Ring Main.

At the heart of Melbourne CBD, pipeline enthusiasts mingled and dined at the vibrant Tonic Bar after having enjoyed a mini-seminar about the Western Outer Ring Main (WORM) project.

WORM is a critical piece of infrastructure required to secure Victoria’s Energy supply by connecting high pressure gas pipelines on the east and west of Melbourne.

Presenter Tom Carroll has been involved in the industry for 30 years involved in the development and construction of gas pipelines and infrastructure around Australia. Image: Prime Creative Media.

It is a high pressure, buried gas transmission pipeline, approximately 51km long, which provides a new connection between existing pipelines at Plumpton in Melbourne’s west and Wollert in the north.

The night kicked off with a retrospective on this major project, the encountered challenges throughout its progression as well as its completion.

APA Group program manager Tom Carroll and APA Group general manager infrastructure planning & approvals Dennis Reid presented their views on the progression of the project.

They shared their insights regarding the challenges encountered, and how they were overcome, and why the project took more than seven years to be complete.

They discussed the challenges of procuring land access and government approvals for the WORM in a growing urban environment.

Dennis Reid has worked in the gas industry for 25+ years delivering access and approvals for onshore and offshore developments in Australia, Canada and the Middle East. Image: Prime Creative Media.

Carroll and Reid also focussed on the process for obtaining initial access to land for surveys through to final easement acquisition, working with registered aboriginal parties to mitigate and manage impacts to aboriginal cultural heritage and understanding the complexities of net gain offset requirements at both State and Federal level.

After his presentation, John Stuart-Robertson shared a few cold ones with other pipeline professionals in attendance. Image: Prime Creative Media

In a second part of the mini seminar, sponsored by CNC Project Management and McConnell Dowell, HDI Lucas general manager and Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) Board president John Stuart-Robertson explained how the project includes a major watercourse crossing of Jacksons Creek.

This crossing required realignment during the construction phase due to access restrictions.

Stuart-Robertson’s presentation also focussed on optioneering activities due to the realignment and the resulting construction challenges and successes, which explained why the project completion took longer than expected.

“WORM is 50.7km long and it would take 616 days for a worm to travel the length of the WORM,” he said.

“We started executing our contract on 28 July 2022, and we finished most of the works on 21 December 2024, which means we’ve only just beaten the worm by 90 days.”

Subscribe to The Australian Pipeliner for the latest project and industry news.

Send this to a friend