The detailed design and specification were preliminary and to be completed as part of the tender arrangements. GPA developed a set of overriding qualitative principles and quantitative performance criteria for the pipeline and compressor station called the “˜The SEA Gas Project Requirements’ to manage the design, construction and commissioning. This document was issued to prospective contractors as part of the tender process and covered areas including availability, reliability, redundancy, maintainability, quality, scope, performance, process requirements, safety, regulatory, SCADA, gas contract and billing systems, spares, measurement accuracy, and performance testing.
Following the initial involvement, GPA became part of the SEA Gas team performing the role of the “Principal’s Engineers” managing the environmental team for the compressor station, assisting with landowner issues, selecting suitable locations for facilities (including the MLVs, meter and compressor stations) and assessing, recommending and managing the pipeline and compressor station turnkey contractors in addition to dealing with any technical queries. GPA assisted with OPEX and CAPEX variation preparation for the pipeline system and flow modelling for Gas Transmission Agreements. GPA also prepared and managed interface issues with: TXU for the Iona and Torrens Island connections, International Power for the Pelican Point connection, BHP Billiton at the Minerva interface, GasNet and VENCorp for the Southwest Pipeline connection and Origin and Envestra for the Cavan connection. GPA engineers facilitated the project financier’s ongoing independent technical and financial review of the project and assisted in the interview and appointment of SEA Gas operational staff as well as maintenance contract technical requirements and tender reviews.
The GPA engineers participated in all HAZOPS, HAZAN, CHAZOP and Risk Assessments, reviewed detailed design documentation providing technical queries and solutions for incorporation into the final design and provided final signoff on all technical matters and documents relating to the design, operation and construction of the pipeline system. Effectively acting as the SEA Gas engineers, GPA liaised with the Victorian and South Australian technical regulators on licensing issues, environmental issues, technical design and testing requirements, operational procedures, commissioning and safety case requirements.
GPA engineers had an active field role auditing and inspecting the Turnkey Contractors’ implementation of the detailed design requirements – reporting on progress and managing field, community or property owner issues. In the field, critical testing was witnessed for mechanical integrity and electrical compliance. Pre-commissioning, commissioning processes and procedures and performance tests were reviewed for safety and compliance with the project, commercial and customer interface requirements. Vendor packages were audited and witnessed against ITPs prior to shipment and inspected on arrival.
The $500 million SEA Gas pipeline commenced operations on January 1, 2004. The newly appointed SEA Gas operator in conjunction with the contractors’ commissioning team and with the support of GPA’s operationally hardened engineers commenced gas supply to the state of South Australia.
The project was completed on time and within budget, making it one of Australia’s most successful infrastructure projects. The pipeline was officially opened by the Prime Minister on March 15 2004. As the “Principal’s Engineers” GPA takes pride in being an active participant in this significant project which created not only a new pipeline system but a new high pressure gas transmission line operating entity.